‘Time’ Columnist: The Case Against the Scoop

By Alex Weprin 

Time Magazine television critic James Poniewozik takes to his blog today to give his counter-intuitive thought on scoops: reporters should stop being so aggressive in chasing (some of) them.

Poniewozik uses the news today that Bill Daley will be named President Obama’s chief of staff to explain his position:

Don’t get me wrong: the question of who becomes chief of staff is important, as are other major Administration staffing decisions. What policies the Administration pursues, and how the choices reflects those policies, definitely matters. But beating the other guy on this particular appointment does not.


As journalists say, the amount of resources you throw at a particular story is a question of priorities, because those resources are limited. In this case—with a showdown looming over the debt ceiling, with conflicting trillion-dollar claims about health care and jobs, &c.—there are any number of issues that are a better use of time than being first on a scoop that will be irrelevant in a matter of hours, if not minutes.

ABC News’ Jake Tapper and NBC News’ Chuck Todd have been among the TV news correspondents chasing Daley, and talking about it on-air.

What do you think? Should TV news reporters refocus their efforts to spend less time on “scoops” like Daly? Let us know in the comments.