Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Washington Post: Balanced Coverage at Last

By: Zahara Pruitt

This week, I saw the tides turn within coverage at The Washington Post. They focused less on the horserace coverage of the presidential election and as a result, more meaningful coverage came about. I saw more articles concerning the presidential nominees policies and more issue coverage than I have seen in my time analyzing the Washington Post's political coverage. 

Photo courtesy of The Washington Post
The Washington Post did a very interesting and informative piece on paid family leave, after Donald Trump's announcement that he supports paid family leave for women. This particular article not only mentioned Trump's announcement, but also provided a lot of context so that readers would understand the importance of this. 

The article mentioned how Trump and Clinton's plans differ, how momentous this was seeing as it's the first time that both major presidential candidates have released plans in support of paid family leave and the history of U.S. family leave policy. Fun fact: America is one of eight nations that doesn't guarantee paid family leave at the national level and is the only industrialized nation on that list. I learned this by reading the Washington Post article. This is an important fact that I believe voters should know and the fact that this article was so clearly able to lay out the main points in both plans and provide context behind that is a great thing. This is the type of journalism that I wish I had seen in coverage throughout the campaign.

The Post also offered an interesting piece on the how polls and single forecasts can lead to incorrect judgements. It talks about how each single forecast inevitably has some level of bias and certain limitations

The article also discusses the method that the Washington Post uses when trying to determine the current climate of the nation in regards to which nominee will be elected come November. I thought this was very interesting to read because it is still somewhat rare to get an inside look into the inner workings of publications. The Post uses a combination of six different combinations when analyzing how the nation feels. And they have determined that Hillary Clinton has been the front-runner from  the beginning. 
Photo courtesy of The Washington Post
The Washington Post also posted a 2016 Election Fact Checker that is extremely in-depth and very user-friendly. 

The fact-checker uses a "Pinocchio Scale" to rate the two candidates and their honesty. I love this! I thought this interactive article provides a good example of ways that traditional print publications can combine their investigative journalism expertise and multimedia to provide readers with tools and content that allow them to analyze and interpret information for themselves.  

Another important thing to note about this week's coverage is that the political page in the website was not solely focused on the presidential race. This was a first. More coverage was given to the house, the European Union and an article was even posted about third-party candidate Gary Johnson. I don't know if the two candidates were not as headline worthy this week or what attributes to this, but I found it to be an interesting shift and important to note. We will see if the Post continues this trend or not as the weeks follow. 

No comments: