Is election coverage hitting the mark this time?

Here’s SPJ’s story


NATIONAL (November 9, 2020) – Under the heading: “What’s Happening?”, here is what the Society of Professional Journalists organization released Wednesday, November 4, 2020; as votes were still being tallied and news media attempted to report results. 

Society of Professional Journalists – LOGO (File)

Election Day was Tuesday but journalists are still discussing how to not repeat past mistakes in election coverage and are following through on their promises to not call the results prematurely. The New York Times Media Columnist Ben Smith said on Twitter he feels that television reporters are genuinely doing a good job projecting patience and explaining that the results will take a while. Others disagree, saying the media blew it again. Updates on how the media is covering everything election-related are available on Poynter’s live blog.

The newest Pew Research Center survey data shows roughly eight in 10 Americans blame unfair news coverage on news outlets, not the journalists who work for them.

The research center says one potential reason for this is that Americans generally believe individual journalists can distance their own views from their reporting. Six in 10 adults say it is possible for journalists to fully set aside their own views and opinions when reporting.
The Brown Institute’s Local News Lab is developing smart paywalls for small- and medium-sized newsrooms that will help these organizations use machine learning to deepen engagement and improve subscription conversions with their audiences. While many newsrooms already have a metered paywall, the lab will try to take that a step further: the technology might give some readers more articles, others fewer before they’re prompted to engage. The goal is to “find the readers that are at the cusp of subscribing and help the newsroom get them over the edge,” said Al Johri, the lab’s engineering lead.
On Nov. 2 a century ago, engineer Frank Conrad, went into a little shed atop the tallest building in Westinghouse’s East Pittsburgh plant to broadcast history’s first radio news event: Warren G. Harding’s presidential victory over fellow Ohioan James M. Cox. The shed was equipped with an antenna, a 100-watt transmitter, a candlestick telephone “microphone” buffered in a cardboard box and several chairs. The first KDKA broadcast voice was that of Leo Rosenberg, who announced to listeners on the night of Nov. 2, 1920, “This is KDKA of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We shall now broadcast the election returns.” Poynter is celebrating another commemoration from the last century by sharing the front pages from the last 100 years of United States presidential elections.
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