The New York Times reports that a joint venture between National Journal and CBS News has recent college graduates out on the campaign trail providing coverage once done by seasoned news veterans:
For decades, campaign buses were populated by hotshots, some of whom covered politics for decades, from Walter Mears to David S. Broder to Jules Witcover. It was a glamorous club, captured and skewered in Timothy Crouse’s best-selling “The Boys on the Bus,” about the 1972 campaign.
Now, more and more, because of budget cutbacks, those once coveted jobs are being filled by brand new journalists at a fraction of the salary. It is not so glamorous anymore.
The worry among some is that in cut throat politics, campaigns may seize upon missteps and the potential naiveté of rookie reporters for political advantage.
In the hands of a political partisan looking to discredit a news organization, these slip-ups can become powerful and fatal ammunition. “Everything you say can and will be used against you,” said Ron Fournier, the editor-in-chief of National Journal…
…Reporters have far more to worry about these days than missteps of their own making. A new generation of political activists like James O’Keefe, the conservative sabotage artist behind the hidden recordings that helped ignite outrage against Planned Parenthood, Acorn and National Public Radio, are setting traps with the goal of discrediting the media.
Over at Salon, Alex Pareene believes this new batch of reporters will do just fine, suggesting that the bar for political reporting just isn’t that high:
Some people will probably get outraged at this debasing of the noble profession of political reporting, but I can’t imagine that these “kids” could possibly be any more banal than the superstars who file a dozen identical stories from the same Iowa prayer breakfast or whatever.
And for those just getting into the game, ABC’s Jack Tapper offers 13 pieces of advice.
Number one among them: Young reporters gearing up for campaign coverage, I have two words: neck pillow.
It is because this issue has a profound impact on each of us, our families and our communities that we are calling on Fox News to meet the standard it has set for itself: “to exercise the ultimate sensitivity when referencing the Holocaust.”
We respectfully request that Glenn Beck be sanctioned by Fox News for his completely unacceptable attacks on a survivor of the Holocaust and that Roger Ailes apologize for his dismissive remarks about rabbis’ sensitivity tohow the Holocaust is used on the air.
The Jewish Funds for Justice, a non-profit group, took out a full page ad today in News Corp’s Wall Street Journal to criticize the use of Holocaust and Nazi terminology by News Corp’s Fox News commentators to label those with whom they disagree. The letter is addressed to Rupert Murdoch and signed by 400 leaders of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements as well as Orthodox rabbis.
UpdateFox news responds:
In a statement provided to The Cutline, Joel Cheatwood, senior vice president of development for Fox News, said: “We haven’t seen the ad, but this group is a George Soros backed left-wing political organization that has been trying to engage Glenn Beck primarily for publicity purposes.