The Winston Group is a strategy and research firm dedicated to making ideas matter.

CJR: Why is ‘issue coverage’ so boring – and often wrong?

by Lisa Mathias

Walter Shapiro writes in today’s Columbia Journalism Review about a conversation he had with the WG’s own David Winston, about the state of political press and how Winston feels there isn’t enough good coverage of the issues:

“Why doesn’t the media write more about issues that are of central concern to the voters? Why don’t they write more about candidate differences and the implications for the country? Instead we get a litany of process pieces with issues as a sideshow.”

When pollsters—yes, pollsters—start sounding like high-minded press critics, it’s a sign that horse-race hysteria has grown to absurd levels. With the election still four months away, we are hooked up to ephemeral data bursts with a shelf life of four hours. As Winston, who has no connection to the Mitt Romney campaign, went on to say, “This coverage makes it difficult for voters to decide whom they want to give the responsibility of governing to.”

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