Jerry CepposMar 23, 2022
Covering Politics in the Age of Trump
Louisiana State University Press 2021
As the United States moves on from the Trump era — and perhaps begins to contemplate what a second one might look like — conversations about journalism's relationship to Trump and his ideas are cropping up all over the place. Books like News After Trump address these questions through a scholarly lens, but Covering Politics in the Age of Trump (LSU Press, 2021) looks at coverage of Trump from the perspective of journalists who cover national politics.
Edited by Jerry Ceppos, the book takes a wide-ranging view of the relationship between the forty-fifth president and the Fourth Estate. In concise, illuminating, and often personal essays, two dozen top journalists address topics such as growing concerns about political bias and journalistic objectivity; increasing consternation about the media’s use of anonymous sources; the practices journalists employ to gain access to wary administration officials; and reporters’ efforts to improve journalism in an era of round-the-clock cable news. Contributors to the book include Ashley Parker of The Washington Post, McKay Coppins of The Atlantic, and Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report.
In this conversation, Ceppos discusses how news organizations are starting to "take off the straightjacket" of detachment and objectivity and what that might mean for re-establishing trust with readers and peeling back the curtain on how journalists do their work.
Jerry Ceppos is the William B. Dickinson Distinguished Professor of Journalism and former of the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University. Before entering academia, he worked for thirty-six years in newsrooms. He has contributed to several books on media ethics and journalism, including News Evolution or Revolution? The Future of Print Journalism in the Digital Age.
Jenna Spinelle is a journalism instructor at Penn State's Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. She's also the communications specialist for the university's McCourtney Institute for Democracy, where she hosts and produces the Democracy Works podcast.