Halperin: Role of the press is ‘hugely important’ in elections

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April 9, 2007, 2:39 pm

April 9, 2007 — At the Shorenstein Center’s brown-bag lunch, Mark Halperin, political analyst for ABC News and joint visiting fellow with the Shorenstein Center and Institute of Politics, spoke on the mainstream media’s coverage of the upcoming election cycle.

Halperin said he holds two fundamental beliefs about political press coverage: first, “the press plays a hugely important role” in determining which candidates are nominated and elected for president; and second, “we don’t do a very good job.”

Halperin attributed the media’s shortcomings to a number of factors, including the problem of double standards—the tendency of reporters to be more critical or less critical of one candidate over another about the same issue. He also named reporters’ over-reliance on video news releases and unsubstantiated blog posts as problematic.