Tuesday, June 17, 2008

LIVE BLOGGING: From Soundbites to Solutions

From Soundbites to Solutions: Bias, Punditry, and the Press in the 2008 Elections, jointly sponsored by the WMC, The White House Project, and the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education

Panel II - How the Media Influence and Reflect Political Realities, moderated by Geneva Overholser, Director of the School of Journalism at the U of Southern California

Overheard, here at the Paley Center:

William Douglas, White House Correspondent: “I look at this campaign season so far and I’m both encouraged and discouraged about how we’ve covered it. It's because we’ve had two such historic candidates. Speaking from the mainstream print journalism world, I think we’ve done ok. We’ve actually written about issues that we haven’t had the opportunity to look at durnig previous campaigns, in large part because the candidates have been traditional candidates. We’ve looked at race and gender somewhat differently than we have in the past, because we’ve had to.”

Juan Gonzalez, Columnist, New York Daily News: "I’ve been extremely disappointed by the shallowness of the approach to all these issues. It’s been seen as conflicts between campaigns, between individuals. There's been far less focus on the institutional, and on what these two candidates are actually going to do....In the foreign policy arena, for instance, the media has failed to differentiate between the candidates’ different attitudes toward American empire. Do the candidates urge the American people to have a smarter empire, or to end this domination over people of the world? I look forward to seeing how we improve our coverage during the general election."

Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Director, Annenberg Public Policy Center: "'It was a charming speech. There was no stridency to it. Maybe she has a new speech writer.' We need some consciousness raising here if a commentator feels it’s ok to deliver those three sentences!"

Chrisitane Anamapour, Chief International Correspondent, CNN: "To think that in this country, this supposed beacon of democracy, you can be sexist in reporting without accountability, is astonishing to me. Even in places like Iran, where there’s an Islamic fundamentalist revolution, the number of times people have said to me ‘Well, we have more women in our Parliament than you in America have in your Senate.’ And in Europe, people say to me the same. Women have been breaking those barriers outside the US for a long, long time in some countries that you in the US have believed to be benighted and backward...."

Pamela Newkirk, Associate Professor of Journalism, New York University: "When I left the daily media 15 years ago, I wrote about the impact African Americans have had on mainstream American media. I found that race matters, and what we learned on this campaign is that gender matters for sure, but let us not forget that race still matters. With the nomination of Barack Obama, there’s a perception out there that we’ve overcome race. But both of these areas still have a long way to go. Bill O’Reilly called for a lynching party for Michelle Obama, but last I checked, he still has a show."

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