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Political journalism is a broad branch of journalism that includes coverage of all aspects of politics and political science, although the term usually refers specifically to coverage of civil governments and political power.
Political journalism aims to provide voters with the information to formulate their own opinion and participate in community, local or national matters that will affect them. According to Edward Morrissey in an opinion article from theweek.com, political journalism frequently includes opinion journalism, as current political events can be biased in their reporting. The information provided includes facts, its perspective is subjective and leans towards one viewpoint.
Brendan Nyhan and John Sides argue that “Journalists who report on politics are frequently unfamiliar with political science research or question its relevance to their work”. Journalists covering politics who are unfamiliar with information that would provide context to their stories can enable the story to take a different spin on what is being reported. Political journalism is provided through different mediums, in print, broadcast, or online reporting. Digital media use has increased and it provides instant coverage of campaign, politics, event news and an accessible platform for the candidate. Media outlets known for their political journalism like The New York Times and the Washington Post, have increased their use of this medium as well. Printed, online, and broadcast political humor presented as entertainment has been used to provide updates on aspects of government status, political news, campaign, and election updates. According to Geoffrey Baym, the information provided may not be considered “fake news” but the lines between entertainment and factual news may seem blurred or biased while providing political updates. This type of journalism is analyzed, interpreted, and discussed by news media pundits and editorialists. It can lack objectivity which can prevent the accuracy of the presented information. The reporting of news with a bias view point can also take away the audience’s ability to form their own opinion or beliefs of what has been reported. This type of reporting is subjective with a possible social or political purpose.
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