Political & Media Commentary

Political & Media Commentary

America’s unstable relationship with the news industry

No Comments


America takes newspapers and the freedom of information for granted.

In a world where a greater population of citizens resort to social media and word-of-mouth as a primary source for news in Washington– and their local politics– it’s difficult to change the minds of those who have cut the “news budget” out of their households. No longer will this upcoming generation have the head of the household reading the newspaper at the breakfast table or come home to the paper and a stiff glass of scotch. Maybe as times progress, the way Americans collect information progresses.

However, newspapers themselves have been an integral part of daily life in America, central to the consumption of power, critique or culture, as said by Paul Starr. More so than any other form of widespread information, newspapers have produced the news in which have been American’s eyes “on the state, our check on private abuses” and “our civic alarm systems”

No matter how integral these outlets and mediums, the question of how well journalists conduct their jobs is under attack, in addition to the vital concern of the First Amendment. In some incidences, each case differed from the other, some outlets have failed to execute the basic duty of a newspaper as well as they should have.

From daily newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post— print editions that have thrived in the past– will continue to live on, despite budget cuts and layoffs. Investigative journalism and focused beats may take a backseat but the basic duties of these reporters will continue without as much fault as their smaller counterparts. Local papers, such as South Boston’s Dorchester Reporter [DOT News], or even smaller- such as the Norwich Bulletin in southeastern Connecticut or the East Boston Times of East Boston, MA, will soon begin to vanish or further deteriorate.

With plummeting circulation levels and advertising revenues, it’s not surprising to see news deserts scattered across the United States. How fast these news deserts have spread has remained nearly a mystery until a new study conducted by the Poynter Institute was set to release in late June of 2018. The study has said to have a coverage of more than 900 communities across the U.S. where the news industry has gone dry since 2004.

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 1.22.45 PM

There have been four major U.S. Presidential Elections since 2004, eight midterms and a multitude of special elections and local races. Have these households within these communities remained in a total blackout of credible information? How are they receiving their information? How are they making an educated vote? And how can journalists, not politicians, reach out to them to say “you need us?”

The majority of this data has also confirmed that news deserts become before abundant in some of the shakiest of landscapes, where local economies and civic health may already be on its last thread and typically increase in less-than-affluent communities, according to the data. These locations have little-to-no original reporting done and people find it difficult to find out what’s going on in their local government, including the very officials in which they are voting on in the poll booths.

These communities have become civically malnourished because of the state of U.S. journalism, as first said by Tom Stites in 2011 as part of a Nieman Lab project. These very “news deserts” have not only lacked a journalistic feeding ground for its civilians, but also attract the “snakes” of the political world.

While some local papers have merged with similar papers instead of closing altogether, the shift has created dramatic staff cuts to the bare bones.

As local newspaper begin to merge or disappear altogether, the opportunity* for those in political power to “help themselves” increases. According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Chicago that a municipality’s borrowing costs will increase in statistically significant ways within a news desert. As local papers close their doors, these same communities are losing out, as said by Kriston Capps in CityLab.

According to the study, without investigative daily reporters carving their way through city halls, with an average of three years after a newspaper closes their doors, the city’s municipal bond offering yields increased by an average of 5.5 basis points and then the bond yields in the secondary market increased by 6.4 basis points, which is statistically significant effects.

As revenue has slowed from circulation numbers in most newspapers, the business being brought in my advertising has converted to online platforms instead. Print newspaper advertising revenue decreased from $60 billion to $20 billion between 2000 and 2015, according to a 2016 article in The Atlantic. On the other side, Facebook ad revenue has increased by double digits.

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 1.32.37 PM
By Pew Research Center, 2018 “Note: For each year, the average traffic for each website for October/November/December was calculated; the data point represents the overall average of those numbers. Analysis is of the top 49 newspapers by average Sunday circulation for Q3 2016 and Q3 2017, according to Alliance for Audited Media data, with the addition of The Wall Street Journal. For each newspaper, the comScore entity matching its homepage URL was analyzed. Source: comScore Media Metrix Multi-platform, unique visitors, October-December 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.”


Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 1.35.23 PM.png
By Pew Research Center, 2018

In terms of the total revenue for U.S. newspapers, while advertisers have continued to drop in sales, circulation levels have increased recently, according to the Pew Research Center.

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 1.52.12 PM

Nonetheless, some key factors may play into a brighter future for the industry. Using Alliance for Audited Media [AAM] data, digital circulation in 2017 was projected to have fallen: weekday subscriptions down nine percent and Sunday subscriptions down nine percent. According to the Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2018 reports as of mid-June 2018, both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal saw significant gains in digital circulation in the past year: 42 percent increase for the Times and a 26 percent increase for the Journal– on top of the already large gains in 2016. Some of the low circulation levels may have been brought back up by digital paywalls, a titanic and wobbling political climate or, possibly, education.


Political & Media Commentary

Minimum wage can’t pay for a 2-bedroom apartment anywhere in America

No Comments

Minimum wage can’t pay for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States, according to a report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 2.12.11 PM

Only six states in the country where the hourly wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home is less than $15.00, according to the report. These states include: South Dakota, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Massachusetts has the sixth highest housing wage with an average earning of $28.64 per hour to afford a two-bedroom. The report stated if a resident was earning minimum wage at $11.00 per hour, they would be required to work 104 hours per week in order to afford the average two-bedroom.

In Boston alone, residents have to make more than $20.00 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 2.11.54 PM

In East Boston, which has a nearly 20 percent poverty rate and where rents are known as “more affordable,” residents must earn $29.23 per hour for a two-bedroom and $23.65 per hour for a one-bedroom, according to the report.

Just across the water in the North End neighborhood, also known as Boston’s “Little Italy,” residents must make nearly double of East Boston residents with an hourly wage of $50.19 for a two-bedroom or $40.96 for a one-bedroom.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 2.14.42 PM

Arkansas, the state known for the cheapest housing in the country, has a minimum hourly wage of $8.50. But a resident of Arkansas would have to earn $13.84 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment there, or work 65 hours per week, earning minimum wage, according to statistics in the report.

Hawaii, the state with the most expensive housing, a resident would have to make an hourly minimum wage of $36.13, which is about $75,000 per year. If working off of a minimum wage, which is $10.10 in this state, residents in Hawaii would have to work 143 hours per week, according to the report.

In Hawaii, the state with the most expensive housing, one would have to make $36.13 — about $75,000 a year — to afford a decent two-bedroom apartment. The minimum wage in Hawaii rose to $10.10 an hour this year, according to the report.

Political & Media Commentary

The Pay Gap: From higher ed to doctors, it’s a problem

No Comments

After the near shock of now President Donald Trump scoring the Oval Office where the former businessman defeated qualified and experienced Hillary Clinton, women across the nation have run for political office more than ever before. For the 2018 midterm elections, 493 women are running for Congress- an unprecedented number for both sides of the aisle.

But the question stands: if they win, will they earn just as much as their male counterparts?

For some, Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 election indicated to them that despite the achievements of successfully voting in more women in the United States’ Senate, women could remain political “outsiders.”

During former President Barack Obama’s administration, he looked to help address the gap between white men and nearly everyone else where companies would be required to report how much they paid people as well as their race and sex.

This regulation was reversed by the Trump administration.

Even the Queen earns less

In Hollywood, two producers of the Netflix series “The Crown” exposed that Matt Smith, also known as ‘Prince Philip,’ made more than Claire Foy, known for her role as ‘Queen Elizabeth II’ throughout the first two seasons of the show.

Left Bank Creative Director Suzanne Mackie told Variety this past week: “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”

But, as Foy will not play the part of the Queen in the upcoming seasons, that doesn’t help her.

For women across the nation, though, this type of headline is nothing new. Each year in early November marks the highlight of gender inequality as women begin to work for free. This flag should serve as a blunt representation of how women in the workforce are nearly treated as slaves.

Those who defend the status quo say there is one matter that could apply to women’s labor as part of a larger economic factor, such as the case of maternity leave.

For too long have some cried out for equal pay for equal work, and it truly does not sound unreasonable. Yet, those who defend the status quo say there is one matter that could apply to women’s labor as part of a larger economic factor, such as the case of maternity leave.

In nearly every industry there has been an issue of a pay gap, including higher education, in hospitals, in newsrooms, among other workplaces.

Go to college to earn a good living, they said

Administrative roles in higher education remain a “man’s world” in terms of positions and pay.

According to a recent report, less than 30 percent of top executives are women.

These women administrators now earn 80 cents to the man’s dollar, according to the study. This has only narrowed by a mere three cents since 2001, when women earned 77 cents on the man’s dollar, according to Inside Higher Ed.

For example, Suffolk University in Boston, which prides itself in celebrating diversity by consistently admitting a large international student population and appointing its second female president recently, also falls behind on appointing female executives.

According to the university’s 2016 990 form, the institution has six women on their list of highest compensated employees in comparison to the 13 men on that same list– the men overpowering the women in numbers by more than double.

Just down the green line on the MBTA stands Boston University, another school that hits the national charts for “Most International Student Population.” However, according to their 2016 990 form, the institution has three women on their list of highest compensated employees in comparison to the 10 men.

Behind the numbers

The gap can’t be boiled down to a neat and exact dollar and cents figure as it varies dramatically by job role and race, according to a new study from SmartAsset, which has aimed to clarify the gap and where it’s prevalent. The analytics company looked at data on earnings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to show which occupations had the largest and smallest gender pay gaps throughout the nation.

Throughout the findings, roles in the finance industry, which is seemingly male-dominated, present the largest pay gaps.

Female financial advisors make an average of 55% what their male counterparts do.

The report was clear: “Female financial advisors make an average of 55 [percent] what their male counterparts earn.”

Take my blood pressure

For female doctors, who have endured medical school and have withstood the same amount of years of rigorous training as their male counterparts in the United States, are earning 28 percent less than the male doctors in these same hospitals.

Women vs. Men Doctors

This gap makes up an average of $105,000 less per year. And the gap for these doctors is only growing wider, according to the results of a survey on the social networking platform for healthcare professionals Doximity.

According to multiple news reports, this already dramatic gap is set to widen for years to come.

Fair reporters receive less than fair equality 

In newsrooms across the United Kingdom who have recently published series on their own gender pay gaps, the difference is stark.

Copy of Women vs. Men Doctors

For example, Guardian News & Media, there was a reported 11.3 percent pay gap between men and women. In a recent report, The Guardian published that 65 percent of their highest paid workers are men and 57 percent of their lowest paid are women. This pay gap is also similar to BBC, where women earn 10.7 percent less than their male counterparts. ITN in Wales reports a 19.6 percent gap.

What’s next for the women of America?

For many, there seems to be no progress in sight with a Trump administration in office. However, with the amount of women running for Congress this year, closing the gap could be on the horizon of policy.

See my next post on the pay gap and how it impacts young women today.

Have you experienced inequality in the work place based off of sexual orientation, race, gender, religious affiliation or otherwise? If so, please fill out this form. I will not publish any comments without consent and further questions. 

Political & Media Commentary

Lauren Duca: Columnist, feminist, fierce debater

No Comments

Practically ‘internet famous’ overnight, solely based off a 10-minute conversation on Fox News and her essay in Teen Vogue: “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America,” Lauren Duca rose to national fame just a couple of weeks before serving as a keynote to student journalists in New York City. At the College Media Association conference in Times Square, I was able to listen to her talk about the state of the media, being a feminist in a “Donald Trump world” and how to shape a reporter voice.

See my Twitter moment below on some of her comments.

See my Twitter page @alexanoelle13 for the live coverage.

Political & Media Commentary

The archaic state of America

No Comments

The Election of 2016 brought the country back a generation through crisis and class

Throughout the presidential election of 2016, there were two distinct breeds of voters that were paying attention to the candidates from the time of the primaries until the victory speech in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, 2016 when now President-Elect Donald J. Trump took the stage.

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 1.38.01 AM
By Twitter user TexasTribune

Businessman and reality powerhouse Trump, also known as the man who fired people on the show “The Apprentice,” ran for president and led his campaign strictly on an overwhelmingly negative tone, which in turn would galvanize his base of mostly white, uneducated men. As he led an explosive campaign that would challenge the meaning of being politically correct with attacks toward the left, the minorities, women, disabled and anyone else that did not share his same privileged values or catechized him, he ran a strong campaign no matter what the values of what seemed to be the majority of voters.

Even with her towering resumé that was brimming with policy, advocacy and practice in crisis, the democratic candidate could not relate to the people of the 2016 nation.

However, up against him, and in some cases seemed to be overshadowed despite the inexperience of her competitor, stood former senator, secretary of state and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Even with her towering resumé that was brimming with policy, advocacy and practice in crisis, the democratic candidate could not relate to the people of the 2016 nation.

After a slanderous primary season, the Bernie Sanders supporters of mostly college-age students took to third party candidates or held onto their undecided claims, giving Clinton a tough time with the millennial vote that historically should have been clinched by her democratic platform. Even with Clinton’s wins on the debate stages, her staff’s efforts and the way that she admitted to her mistakes in the email fiasco, it wasn’t enough. The country wanted something different and new instead of the experienced or polished when sending someone to Washington D.C.

With both the nation’s bitter shun against a vast playing ground that the democratic party worked off of whether it be socialism, progressive attitudes, more government-funded programs, the political party label that republicans refused to vote for or support or maybe just being referred to as the “better choice” candidate, Donald Trump, the inexperienced, took the nation by surprise and concluded the election with a victory.

What did the Trump Campaign do well?

Donald Trump, despite the argument of being a one-man team for the majority of the election season, led a strong campaign because it was Trump. Before discussing views or remarks that would spark a media frenzy and lead to an apology from republican party leaders, Trump was an outsider. He was someone of the reality television world and was a tabloid magnet for years.

Although, with a different glass ceiling that democratic candidate Hillary Clinton spoke on throughout the election, Trump had a contrasting glass ceiling and he ended up shattering it.

For some scholars, it’s thought that he was never suppose to win the election or even make it past the primaries, meaning he did not intend to grow successful in the political realm. Although, with a different glass ceiling that democratic candidate Hillary Clinton spoke on throughout the election, Trump had a contrasting glass ceiling and he ended up shattering it.

The future nominee stood up adjacent to both seasoned and professional senators, governors and those who came from a political family throughout the primaries on the main stage. He, however, who made comments that would violate women for their looks and makeup of being a woman such as fellow republican candidate Carly Fiorina or [then] Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly


Trump would go, as many news outlets and voters would call it, “off script.” This version of Trump, would lead the country to believe that he was sexist, homophobic, racist, as well as many other terms of the types of people that he would challenge and bombard. Kelly questioned this in a primary debate where he called Trump out for his comments.

“You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals,’” she said.

“You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals,’” she said.

Trump fired back “Only Rosie O’Donnell” with sheer laughter from the audience in the background.

Kelly went on, “Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice that it would be ‘a pretty picture to see her on her knees.’ Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man that we should elect as president?”

Trump’s answer consisted of blaming America and said that what was wrong with the country is that people attempt to be “politically correct.” Another, grand round of applause and cheers from the crowd showed that it was socially acceptable throughout his base to attack, criticize and berate women of all types and almost celebrate this “war on women” as Kelly called it.  Trump saw that it was almost too easy to go “off script.”

While democrats and even some republicans thought of his platform as “something to do” for him, and not really taking him seriously in the primaries, it was a reality check when he won the nomination. This very nomination was what both gave a reality check to party leaders and democrats but also to his base- who rallied around him even more by the more derogatory statements he made public. Throughout his campaign in the general election, his beliefs on women and minorities were supported by white supremacists and alt-right believers.

After the video that was leaked of him sexually exploiting his former woman co-host on The Apprentice, party leader and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan did not take his endorsement of Trump away but instead said that he could not “defend him anymore.” Both men and women backers defended Trump in this difficult point during his campaign.

Throughout the eighteen months that it took until the victory speech was given at 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, Trump led his campaign on an overwhelmingly negative platform. In both the race for the primaries and the general election, he would state repeatedly that “America was heading in a very bad direction.” Trump, without the basis of facts or any type of arguments to back up his statements, said that countries like Russia and China were “winning over us” but didn’t say how or in what.

According to a study conducted by the Harvard Kennedy School of Politics, the media even played a part in his victory by fulfilling their jobs by covering the overwhelming statements he made. The study suggested that the mass coverage on Trump, especially his comments, “normalized” the negativity, giving him and his platform the upper hand. He played his platform right by taking and almost “owning” the negativity and blame game. He claimed that America should not be politically correct and that the people in the country were “too thinned skinned” but some said he was some of the worst. For example, when Clinton made her “basket of deplorables” comment,” Trump used it against her and said that she was “filled with hatred” and negativity for a population of the American people. In one sense, she used his own words against him and he turned around and did the same to her.

One element that Trump had the strongest throughout the campaign is that he refused to side with anyone but himself.

One element that Trump had the strongest throughout the campaign is that he refused to side with anyone but himself. He didn’t listen to his opponents when they criticized him or apologize for almost anything that he said or did, and he did the same when it came to his own party. He was relentless when it came to discussing the “people of Washington” or speaking on Congress when the majority of Congress was republican. He not only attacked President Barack Obama and his time in office but also slandered Speaker of the House Paul Ryan relentlessly. As for his base, who voted for him with the conception that he would be “different” than the seasoned politicians that are voted into office, he played this natural card well by both those against him, but also attacking those on his side of the playing ground.

What did the Clinton Campaign do well?

Hillary Clinton, who has a rich resumé to backup her claims in policy and advocacy, was relentless and strong throughout the election. Opposite of Trump, who had a personality for television, she at first lacked the relatability factor as well as trying to pull together the former Bernie Sanders supporters and those strongly opposed to Trump but still republicans into her court. She had a tough task to attempt to unite the country that only seemed split during the campaign season but purely evident after the election results came in across the nation.

“Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion.”

In Clinton’s first tweet to launch her campaign in April of 2015, she said, “Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion.” From then until the final hours of Election Day, Clinton ran on the basis of uniting the country, despite the deep divide. Both she and her staff fought on an optimistic movement, especially against Trump’s negative tone. Going back to when she was First Lady to then her campaign, she always did well when she went back to her roots when she would fight for children and families. She has a long history of working with the Children’s Defense Fund, giving opportunity to all children to reach their potential and instilling that it is important that all children- whether they be citizens of the United States or immigrants, receive education and health care.

“Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

Before being secretary of state or senator, she was an advocate for human rights- highlighting the famous quote “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.” The work that she did for the past couple of decades were also the highlights of her campaign. Throughout the campaign trail, she spoke relentlessly on policy, even if it wasn’t covered in the media compared to Trump’s slanderous and fixated views of the day. In the debates, Clinton was seasoned and polished after hours of practicing, positioning herself to be on top of Trump’s “off script” version as well as the Kellyann Conway version of himself, courtesy of his well to-do and well rehearsed campaign manager.

Clinton had clearly outshined the businessman in her knowledge during the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 with the attempt to present the facts off the bat in the beginning. Clinton, who took the first presidential debate for the two candidates extremely seriously in her preparation and research, had excelled in a multitude of areas: one being her characteristics within handling Trump’s bashes and blunt statements that were either irrelevant or untrue. The two candidates had walked onto the stage that night with one thing in mind: winning. However, there was only one candidate that had actually succeeded in turning undecided voters onto their campaign trail as well as strengthening the already supporters that they had. This same debate style that she had reflected the other two debates to mirror her performance.

For Trump, he had his campaign manager serve as the bandage of his entire campaign- including what happened before he started his road toward a political office. As for Clinton, the nation barely heard from campaign manager Robby Mook besides the few broadcast news interviews that he conducted with CBSN. Clinton, instead, served as the person that conducted both the good and the bad sides to the campaign. This drew to wonder, who will Trump appoint to apologize or explain his actions and motives to the American people? For Clinton, there was no question.

What did the Trump campaign do poorly?

Trump, much like his competitor, had a difficult time connecting to certain demographics- some that were crucial to not only win the election but also to connect to before assuming the role of the top office in the nation. As for Trump, after a slew of his controversial statements that made headlines more than a dozen times per month, he failed to connect with the very people that he practically declared war on: women. Whether they be educated or not, both suburban and urban women had cast the majority of their votes to Clinton. Despite his claims on Twitter and in the debates, he did not take the African-American vote, but instead failed to produce it completely with the majority heading to the Clinton side of the spectrum. He not only attacked, but nearly harassed women throughout his entire campaign to instill that he was pro-men and pro-white. From the primaries until to his present day transition team, he discussed Mexico and immigrants from there in the most negative connotations where he called them “rapists” and “drug dealers” with promises to “build a wall” to separate the states from “the Mexicans.” Trump’s base relished in his statements and met them with great applause. For Trump, his inexcusable statements may have worked for his base, but he did not welcome any other new voters throughout the general election trail.

During the race to Election Day, the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) endorsed now president-elect Trump and he disregarded it. He did not speak out against the endorsement or against the KKK. Instead, he acted as if he was delighted by the endorsement by the white supremacists.

What did the Clinton campaign do poorly?

Several odds stood against Clinton as she launched her campaign to run for president in April of 2015. She was seeking a third term of the democratic party, she had headlines on her email scandal causing a national security crisis and the nation was sick of seasoned politicians. Because of these handful of reasons, it would seem possible that a candidate from the republican party leaders’ pick was possible- maybe a Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio at best. Instead, though, the nation picked outside of the leaders’ realm and went into an inexperienced in policy Trump, who excelled in the business world- some scholars note due to economic reasons that he would shine in this regard. But in the most obvious of reasons, Clinton had the woman factor against her as well. If the world was ready for a woman president, it would be Clinton for her experience. But because of a slew of issues during the campaign trail and issues that were brought up from before her campaign trail, she was not voted in. For example, it took her until the first debate to admit her and her apology to the email scandal where she used a private email server while serving as secretary of state. The factor, which may seem minor in some positions, is horrifying for national security. Clinton should have, first and foremost, not have used a private email server. But secondly, she should have apologized and said “I made a mistake” well before she actually did and discussed what was actually in the emails instead of rubbing it off as nothing at first.

Another issue Clinton had was her relatability tactic. For many, they viewed her as the woman with all the facts but wouldn’t be able to connect to the American people. In the debates, she proved those wrong when she instantly talked about her granddaughter and what future she wanted for her when in a future America. However, these small remarks weren’t enough for the American people. Apparently, the nation of 2016 wanted a candidate that wasn’t afraid to say anything at all. Maybe for some points, Clinton should have gone “off script” for specific moments of her debates, podcasts and interviews. Clearly not the point of Trump, but to “get real” as some put it, with the American people that Trump was successful at.

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.35.53 PM
President-Elect Donald Trump during his victory speech

Donald Trump’s campaign may have seemed to be ineffective during any other time, but the nation of 2016 thought differently. For his base, they were more motivated by his comments against women and minorities because it challenged political correctness and the traditional politician’s “look.” The nation of 2016, especially Trump’s base and the silent majority, were seeking “change.” But this change was not the type that Bernie Sanders in the primaries, Hillary Clinton throughout her time in public service or even Barack Obama spoke on in 2008 and 2012. This type of change was the type that made the country go backwards by a generation. In his motto “Make America Great Again,” which could be interpreted “Make America White Again,” or to go backwards to how things use to be. The election of 2016 served as the country was divided not just by political parties and two candidates. Instead, it was the divide of introducing new ideas that would serve as progressive in nature versus the nature of going back in time to the way things use to be- not inclusive but strictly to those who were successful during that time, which were white men. The nation sought out and found the person that was completely inexperienced and picked them over one of the most qualified people to ever run for president in the history of the United States- whether they be woman or man. Both candidates ran strong campaigns, whether it be because of their base or because of being inclusive to the entire nation, they rallied those that believed in their message.

Media Campaign Coverage Incentive:

The presidential election of 2016 played a major role in exposing not only the divided nation but also the roles of media in influence versus good, political journalism. Despite a turbulent relationship with now President-Elect Donald Trump and the media world after he has made slanderous comments that the media “rigged” the election as well as the fill of fake news spread across social media through aggressive headlines, the media and Trump are currently in a “dangerous phase” according to Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly. However, there’s a thin line that comes to play in presidential election coverage between influence and coverage. The role of journalists, no matter what they are covering, is now considered the “old-style journalism” which covers the “who, what, where, when, and how.” The press play a vital role to report the news and report it correctly. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Due to manipulative and systematic ways of reporting- or not reporting- specific issues or events, it creates a matter of influence on the news teams’ audience.

For example, viewers can chose to watch Fox News for coverage on Clinton’s emails and they way they slander her in a way that makes Donald Trump look better. Or, viewers can watch CBS News and say just the opposite. In the print world, The New Yorker magazine takes a liberal take on issues, especially with coverage on the presidential election. As for the Wall Street Journal, they take a more moderate approach while the editorials tend to be more conservative than The New Yorker.

Strengths and Weaknesses of our Existing Coverage:

After the Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and deception of the Vietnam War, journalists have turned to a more “investigative” style of reporting in a way that gives news viewers and readers a “broader” sense. The role the media should play is not to serve as an influencer, but instead to educate through straight facts and hard news in order for the reader, listener or viewer to make up their own mind. However, there is a difference between coverage and influence, but it’s a thin line that some can cross quite easily. In a study by Harvard Kennedy School, they pointed out that because Donald Trump was such an irregular character, it was difficult to not cover what he said  when he was “off script” and why it was a main focus for much of the campaign trail. This would also serve as another reason that policy was not covered so much on both sides. During this election cycle, readers would have to seek out policies that both candidates had by going onto their website or reading into their history since many news outlets barely covered the issues but instead of the Hollywood-like theme of the road to election day. It was broadcasted that Trump wanted to “build a wall” and he was looking to deport families, but how was he going to conduct these ideas? Clinton would go to talk about policy throughout the debates, but was told she needed to be more relatable instead of just listing facts by predictions in the media and campaign analysis in newspapers.

As for the widespread of false news, especially throughout this election season, it is important for the nation to have a choice where they get their news, but websites especially need to be held accountable for what they publish for the world-wide web to view. For example, it is against journalistic ethics to publish a false report that could potentially hard a person’s credibility or credentials. In numerous cases, both candidate’s of this election season had gone through this from Hillary Clinton’s alleged sex scandals with children to Donald Trump’s cheating ways in business. It was every day that a new, false report would come out that would state, “sources said,” but none of it would be backed up by fact, but instead by conspiracy theories from either side of the political spectrum, or an idea of something even lower. It’s crucial that these reports to cease, but not only from election coverage, but instead from all coverage that is reported in the news or on websites that claim to be “the news.”

Recommendations for Presidential Election 2020:

The election of 2016 proved that there is both a divided nation but also a divided media world. It is crucial for the media to go back to their roots and readopt “old-style journalism.” For example, the exemplary outlet throughout the entire campaign season was The Washington Post. The newspaper as well as their online counterpart had broken down the policies, the issues, and each candidate for what they stood for in the same style. The critiqued in their editorials, but they critiqued both candidate in the same way and value as the other. Instead of choosing what readers should know, they gave the readers everything and left it up to them to decide what and who they were going to vote for. The Washington Post continues, throughout the transition time frame, to restrict themselves to reporting the facts instead of shedding one person in good light and another in a negative context.

In addition, because this election season was so important in the realm of social media, it is important for education reasons to filter fake news outlets. For example, the number of shares an article will receive because of a controversial headline that sides with the way some are thinking, such as the website, “Occupy Democrats” has become a widespread issue on what people believe is actually going on in the realm of campaigns and the road to Election Day. For traditional news outlets who look to report only the facts such as The Washington Post and New York Times, it is important for them to fix the spread of fake news by correcting it and by finding out the facts. If not, the untrust in the media will continue to rise.

In addition to news outlets changing, education needs to as well. It’s crucial that journalism and current events are taught in schools from kindergarten through grade twelve. Whether a person goes to college or not, it’s important for them to know what to look for while reading, viewing or listening to the news. The news, at this point, is inevitable to hear and discuss, especially with this most recent election season. Instead of waiting until college to offer courses, it’s important to start at an early age to educate people on what is coverage and what is influence.