From the horse race to the intricacies of public policy, political journalists have a lot to cover, and the choices they make have profound impacts on citizens’ understanding of their government and leaders. In an era of rampant disinformation, what is the media’s responsibility when reporting on politics, particularly rhetoric that distorts facts or presents false claims? How sacred is a neutral reporting style that had been the standard for decades? Is a new approach now needed – one that favors more interpretation to better inform a bombarded public lacking time to research the subtext of politics and policy debates? What is the value of journalistic objectivity in an era of media manipulation and distortion?
Join three experienced journalists and a professor of government and media in a discussion about the current and potential future paths for American political journalism.
Thomas E. Patterson is Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard Kennedy School. He is an expert on journalism, media, and political communication. He has authored a number of books, including most recently, “Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism,” “How America Lost Its Mind: The Assault on Reason That’s Crippling Our Democracy,” and “Is the Republican Party Destroying Itself?”
Brian Stelter is the Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, and a nationally recognized media reporter and expert on the state of journalism. Until August 2022, he was the anchor of “Reliable Sources,” which examined the week’s top media stories every Sunday on CNN and the chief media correspondent for CNN worldwide.
This event was co-sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School New England Alumni Association.