If mediocrity is something journalists today strive for then collectively we’ve achieved it. I say “we” in the sense that I too am a journalist, a part of the collective. But I certainly don’t strive for mediocrity, nor am I thrilled that my colleagues have grown accustomed to the benchmark. Seriously folks we have got to do better. Journalists deserve a “C” for their coverage of President Trump’s administration.
But the road to mediocre wasn’t paved overnight. It started during the 2016 Presidential campaign. Journalists, more often than not, made the choice to cover candidate Trump like a political ne’er-do-well. Members of the media treated his candidacy like a freak show with his supporters playing the role of the bearded woman. Reporters failed to ask “Why is his message resonating with so many people?”.
If we are ever going to understand the division in this country then we must start listening to the stories we might not want to hear. Who are the people in the rust belt? Who are the voters in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that handed Trump the White House?
The mediocrity of journalism has continued under President Trump. The White House press corps, with a few exceptions, is more interested in shadow boxing with the President and his communications staff than doing any actual reporting. Press briefings are not where we get the whole story. If we want to know what this administration is up to we need to start diving into his legislative agenda. We need to look at what the departments in his cabinet are doing.
Just like the in the Wizard of OZ…
When someone is barking an order, there’s usually something going on behind the curtain.