Political reporters should stop being savvy insiders and start calling out fiction

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In a speech in Melbourne, Australia, Jay Rosen describes what political coverage should do and why it fails. Political reporting should “help us get our bearings in a world of confusing claims and counter-claims,” he writes, but instead reporters act as savvy insiders who focus on intrigue, strategy and theater. As an example, he notes Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s assertion that climate change is a hoax, which he said is merely a strategy of “verification in reverse” — to create political controversy over established facts and capitalize on it. “How should political journalists stand toward this technique?” Rosen asks. “As savvy insiders who know how the game is played and need to maintain their innocence? If they do that, and verification in reverse grows and succeeds, it will be the equivalent of running over the press with a truck. Journalism will become superflous.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.