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Top Journalists Assess Media Coverage of Election

Top journalists disagreed over whether the news media's coverage of the election has helped educate the public about the candidates and issues or whether it has been reduced to mere "he said-she said" journalism. The panel discussion was part of the first in a series of 2004-2005 First Amendment Breakfasts hosted by the Graduate School of Journalism. Floyd Abrams, noted First Amendment attorney and William J. Brennan Jr. Visiting Professor of First Amendment Issues at Columbia, moderated the discussion, citing harsh criticism by Washington Post columnist David Broder. Abrams introduced the discussion by reading from Broder's Sept. 26 column, which argues that the media has let itself be lured away from national issues such as terrorism, health care and the national budget in favor of "sham events" including Senator John Kerry's Vietnam service and the disputed document relating to President George W. Bush's Air National Guard service. Panelists used Broder's column as a framework for discussion.

Nicholas Lemann

Nicholas Lemann, Henry R. Luce Professor and Dean, Columbia Journalism School

Real Video (1:01)
Floyd Abrams

Floyd Abrams, William J. Brennan Jr. Professor, Columbia Journalism School

Real Video (7:26)
Jill Abramson Joel Klein
Steve Lovelady  

Jill Abramson, Managing Editor, The New York Times
Joel Klein, Senior Writer, Time magazine
Steve Lovelady, Managing Editor, Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk

Real Video (31:48)

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Production Number: 314
Shot: Oct 12, 2004
Published: Oct 13, 2004
Last modified:Mar 24, 2005