Bad news isn’t good news

Coverage of the presidential race should be about issues, not snide remarks.

As our state prepares to caucus for the next presidential nominee and our country prepares to usher in a long-awaited new administration, the mainstream media have failed to tactfully and responsibly inform the voting citizens of their candidate choices. In mainstream media, we too often see meaningless headlines and news stories about who said what about who and the follow up rebuttal, or the biographical soft spots that offer little insight into the candidates’ stance on important policies.

The media use the horse race model when covering politics, creating news stories centered around surface events or controversies, rather than doing investigative pieces on the candidates voting record or purposed positions on vital national issues like education and healthcare.

The recent uproar in the news about snide comments made about Sen. Barrack Obama by former President Bill Clinton illustrates this faulty model of news coverage. These events have almost no actual value to us as citizens while we are trying to form solid opinions about the candidates’ stances on important issues. It instead shifts the focus from the actual substance of a candidate’s platform to the back and forth useless banter.

Shouldn’t the public be privy to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vested interests in the health care industry rather than her near-tear experience after her loss in Iowa? The media doesn’t think so.

Most often what makes news are events and controversies that will be the most titilating or sell the most copies, hardly news that’s actually fit to print. Weaving the election process into a catty contest is certainly entertaining, but irresponsible as time and space spent reporting such events takes away from the citizens actually learning about what these people stand for and how they are going to better our lives and improve our country. Light infotainment is popular, but it’s hard to imagine that the public wouldn’t watch more programs that offered an educational spin to the election rather than the pithy squawk box material that’s presented.