Rather than being met with the usual hits of media news and analysis upon opening Brian Stelter‘s Reliable Sources newsletter last night, we received instead a series of questions about the elections and what comes next. A lot of them.
We found this to be unusual and good and necessary and important.
The takes on 2016 coverage continue to come in, and while many have been insightful, we’ve also noticed a lot of convergence, a lot of discussion of the same ideas, a lot of arrivals at the same conclusions, and there’s just too much complexity in the last two years, not to mention the last few days, for this to be a natural convergence. We worry the post-mortem is creating the same hive mind that itself was one of the contributing problems to election coverage.
And so, to borrow a debate cliche, maybe we should let it breathe. Before we all continue to provide answers, let’s make sure we’re asking the right questions. Here are some of our favorites from Stelter:
What do readers and viewers need right now? What should change about journalism in the weeks and months to come? What must NOT change?
How did the gutting of local newsrooms affect the coverage of this race, particularly in the red states that determined the outcome?
What are the specific reasons why so many polls underestimated Trump’s support? How long will it take to unpack this? What changes will be implemented?
Was 2016 really the year of the fact-checker? Did it matter much at all? Did newspaper investigations matter? Did editorials matter? Did the debates matter?
Is the mainstreaming of alt-right media already underway? What are the consequences?
What are the best remedies for “Acela corridor bias?”