Rules for New Journalists

Eric Alterman sums up his years of journalism, writing about journalism and teaching journalism:

What to remember when covering a major political event, such as a debate

  • The candidate who appears more “energetic” wins, period.
  • How a candidate makes you “feel” is more important than what he or she actually says.
  • What a candidate said yesterday is irrelevant. What he or she is saying now is what matters because nobody was paying attention before, and if they were, they won’t remember it anyway.
  • Elections are not run for fact checkers; debates even less so. (And conventions? Don’t get me started.)
  • Policy details are for nerds and little magazines.



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