Mass Media Criticism and Journalism

Arrows in chart

In a perfect world, journalists would provide us with in-depth, accurate, investigative reports that would enlighten us without taking sides.  We don't live in that world, but this page has a few of the better examples of political journalism that comes closest to that ideal.  This page also has media critiques and analysis, to help you with being a more active and savvy consumer of the news.

Recent Informative Journalism

Campaign reporters may not be able to accurately report on the advanced statistical and social science techniques being employed by modern political campaigns.  Excellent piece from the NYT "Why Campaign Reporters Are Behind the Curve."

Journalism that is helpful

The Center for Investigative Reporting digs into issues, many of which are in California.  It's non-profit and in-depth.

ProPublica does independent, non-profit investigative journalism and has won Pulitzer Prizes. Solid in-depth reporting.

Top quality political reporting is often done by top newspaper reporters.  Though papers sometimes have liberal or conservative reputations, the front-page journalism is actually quite reliable (studies have proven this) -- the bias is generally with the editorials or op-eds (which are supposed to have a point of view).  Try the nation's "newspaper of record", the New York Times, the nation's leading business paper, the Wall Street Journal, or the Washington Post. For good California reporting, try the Sacramento Bee or the LA Times.

For California political news, Rough and Tumble is a digest of political reporting from all over the state.

For Sacramentans, check out local independent reporting at Sacramento Press.

Decode DC is the new project by longtime (and now former) NPR political reporter Andrea Seabrook.  She got tired of all of the misrepresentation and non-meaningful talk in DC, so she quit and started this blog. Seabrook says, "Here on the blog I'll give you frequent updates on what's going on in Washington, what it means, and then what it really means."

Politco does fantastic reporting on the political world from more of an insider's perspective.

RealClearPolitics has a constantly updated list of recent articles about politics from all sorts of media outlets.  A very nice go-to political news site.

Media Criticism

Radio show On the Media does weekly shows covering all aspects of journalism and media.  Great high-quality stuff that you can stream or podcast.

Columbia Journalism Review has great analysis. Timely, smart, academic.

Pew Center for the People and the Press does surveys, comprehensive reports, and uses academic methodologies to study the media.