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My latest for CJR: political panels are bad for journalism and the nation

Rampant use of political panels on cable has scant justification and should end.


"A noble but flawed idea," Norm Ornstein calls them.


Jay Rosen says the reckoning is "neither easy nor cheap."


I remember being told at MSNBC that we needed "more boxes" per segment, meaning more faces on the screen, for the sake of optics, not because there was an editorial need. (That instruction came from a former CNN exec, by the way.)


I also remember being instructed at MSNBC to ask a presidential candidate, who was announcing their campaign that day, to join a panel discussion about Trump and the Russia investigation, rather than discuss their own policies. Thankfully, that politician was principled enough to decline and cancelled the interview.


Here I argue we can no longer afford the high costs of this low budget format.


My latest for CJR: https://www.cjr.org/public_editor/cnn-public-editor-its-time-to-end-the-panel-discussion-format.php


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mr.david.mitchell
22 thg 1, 2021

Spot on! There is no substitute for the art of real reporting, real journalism in search of the truth. None of us are as smart as all of us, so a panel should in theory be able to better assess what's happening real time, but the panel is not on the front lines, and lacks situational awareness. Prefabricated opinions are then substituted for facts. The "incident" at the Capitol is the perfect example of two sides to every story. At one entrance, full on riots, gunshots, police battling criminals, people dying. And another entrance, people being invited in for a selfie tour with officers. While the riot makes for perfect video and headlines, the second entrance could hav…


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