Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism

Beyond the Sound Bite:
Politics and Public Affairs for TV

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Political coverage increasingly challenging for broadcast journalists

Broadcast journalists covering political affairs face a host of obstacles: media-savvy candidates trained to elude pointed questioning, viewer apathy and ignorance, competition from more visual, "sexier" stories, and apolitical producers are all hurdles to getting political stories on the air. (Story, video and more)

The big picture: covering the campaign in an age of anonymous sources and dirty politics

Covering politics and government has become harder than ever for broadcast journalists due to the heated political polarization, spin, dirty politics and anonymous sources. (Story, video and more)

Technological changes make core journalistic values even more important

It’s hardly a secret that technology and the audience’s ever-shorter attention span have changed, and are continuing to change, the way television news is produced and delivered, Western Knight Center keynote speaker George Lewis said. (Story, video and more)

From the candidate to the incumbent: character, ethics and accountability

The keys to effective and fair candidate interviews and access are preparation, research and the ability to listen. The willingness and ability to ask questions no one else will don't hurt, either. (Story, video and more)

Cronkite praises winners but criticizes political coverage overall

Walter Cronkite smiled, joked and accepted a flood of compliments with his trademark grace at the awards banquet named after him. But in his speech, he made it clear that the overall state of journalism, and of the United States, is something that causes him fear and anxiety that borders on despair. (Story, video and more)

The stories behind the story

It's an old journalistic truism that the story about how you got the story is often more interesting than the story itself. Chris Heinbaugh (WFAA, Dallas) and Rosemary Lappin (WCVB, Boston) explain how advance groundwork made the story. (Story, video and more)

Elements of a good story: Beating the boring factor

A good political story contains the same elements as any other good, compelling story: conflict, suspense, character, humor and a reason to care. Deborah Potter of Newslab outlined the essentials of good political storytelling at a presentation entitled "Beating the Boring Factor." (Story, video and more)

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