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