Mother Jones Co-Founder: “Five reasons the 47% story went gangbusters”

Jeffrey Klein, the co-founder and ex-editor of Mother Jones, today announced his five ingredients in the formula for why the story about Mitt Romney and the 47% worked so well.

  1. It came from a citizen; “a witness to power.”
  2. It came from oppositional research; “Jimmy Carter IV had a vendetta.”
  3. The investigative reporter David Corn performed a “dance with the source” to negotiate access; a unique skill set.
  4. The story was released into a public sphere primed for viral spread: a lot of American voters suspected that Mr Romney was an elitist and the American media, right in the midst of brutally competitive election coverage, knew that once the story broke, everybody had to run with it.
  5. Mother Jones had carefully prepared for the inevitable pushback; they were factually correct and they could not be accused of releasing clips out of context

Mr Klein was speaking on a panel “Innovations and Investigations in Investigative Journalism” at the Columbia Media Conference. 

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