Dan Kennedy’s Classes

Dan Kennedy brings a lot to this class because he has a lot of ideas/opinions about events and issues that none of us would have thought to consider. My favorite example of this is his opinion that journalists aren’t great at giving ‘equal coverage’.

In his November 1st lecture about ‘The Crisis in Political Reporting’ focusing on what has lead to the rise of Trump.

Kennedy explained that television news gave Trump a lot of airtime in the beginning, and quoted Les Moonves from CBS by saying, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” about the Trump coverage.

He then went on to talk about how newspapers can do their bet work, but ultimately their reporting won’t make much of a difference unless their story gets airtime on the ‘nightly network news’.

Then that he went on to to talk about ‘false equivalence’ – which is what I found most interesting. Here he talked about how the “institutional bias towards balance” is what leads to false equivalence and ultimately helped lead to our Trump Presidency.

My understanding of what Kennedy was saying is that it is this idea that we must report equally on both candidates that lead to the discussions about Hillary’s emails and Trump’s sexual assault allegations being considered ‘on the same level’ and skewing the election.

This is whole conversation was interesting to have, in my opinion, because I had always defaulted to the idea that equal coverage was good because it ensured everyone’s voice is heard. But this opened my eyes to the negative impact it can have.

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