Every week, I shine the spotlight on some of the best storytelling in the business and offer my comments. “3 Great Stories of the Week” will post every Monday at 8 AM.
A farewell guide to political journalism (9/2/16, The Atlantic): When several people I respect Tweet their love for a piece of journalism, I pay attention.
That’s why I clicked on this link, unaware of its subject matter or even its author.
But my expectations were exceeded.
The title here connotes a hot take or think piece mourning the death of political journalism. In reality, it is the opposite; retiring writer Ron Franklin offers the lessons he learned in three decades as a political journalist — lessons that will, one would hope, inspire his successors to keep pushing.
His most empowering takeaway? This paraphrased passage:
“Until that moment, I assumed the people we covered in politics valued pushover journalists. … That might be true on the small stories, but not for the stuff that matters. … I left the meeting knowing that if I ever returned to journalism, I didn’t want to be taken for granted liked the first reporter. I wanted to inspire in my sources … respect and fear.”