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April 15, 2019, 1:09 p.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: twitter.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Christine Schmidt   |   April 15, 2019

The business model is still a problem. Misinformation is still a problem. Media manipulation is still a problem. But 250 reporters gathered (at Google’s Chicago office, no less) to talk about how to improve the journalism that they’re doing on a regular basis on the campaign trail — what they can control, as Marty Baron has said, as they are at work, not at war.

This was the Campaign Journalism Conference, put on by the Nieman Foundation and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, in its second iteration. But when the same conference happened four years ago, the name “Donald Trump” — surprise, surprise — hardly came up. Obviously things were a bit different this go-round.

Now the man has shaken journalism and journalists for the trends that they missed, or dismissed, in 2016. Countless diner stories and Trump voter profiles have swamped newsrooms as many scrambled to make up for lost ground, and trust. We haven’t seen the full stretch of campaign reporting yet, but as over 300 campaign events have already taken place in Iowa (conveniently tracked by the Des Moines Register), it’s not too late to course-correct coverage looking forward. (There are more candidates than the B-Boys! Stop the horserace!)

So it’s time to get to work — and work differently than in 2016. The Campaign Journalism Conference serves as an introductory point to many first-time campaign reporters, sharing tips on how to pack a bag for the campaign trail, interact with press secretaries, and read polls. But it also can be a gauge on how news organizations are anticipating doing the election’s coverage differently, with speakers from HuffPost, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Nevada Independent, and more sharing their takeaways.

Here’s how journalists are thinking about reporting differently in the lead-up to November 3, 2020:

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