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[WHITE NOISE]

by Jordan Green

News and views from inside the media bubble | by Jordan Green

Election 2012 campaign censorship

What with it being a presidential election year and North Carolina being competitive, my inbox is deluged daily by salvos from surrogates from one or the other candidates or from functionaries of the two major political parties.

They’re talking points with a layer of supporting facts underneath. It makes me question whether the political operatives understand that the job of journalists is to uncover the truth. Or maybe they believe that we’re here to amplify favored candidates’ talking points or referee between contending arguments. Or maybe we’re not the target audience at all; maybe the e-mails are served up for the benefit of slavish bloggers and campaign volunteers. When Obama for America opened a campaign office in Winston-Salem, I once had difficulty getting the campaign’s North Carolina press secretary to say even a platitude about the significance of the state to the candidate’s prospects for reelection, and even then it was on background. So do you think I have any interest when someone from the campaign calls to say that a local official and business owner sympathetic to the president are holding a press conference on outsourcing?

Retired News & Record Editor John Robinson writes about a New York Times report that the Times, the Washington Post, Bloomberg and Reuters have agreed to allow campaigns to pre-clear the quotes of campaign strategists and other aides. By agreeing to forfeit the really candid, or sometimes just colorful, quotes, the reporters ensure that their news organizations maintain access and don’t get scooped. They can have the access — I don’t think that’s where the story is.

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