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CUNY journalism professor and media critic Jeff Jarvis with a strident series of questions for the many of us covering this convention:

Why are you there?

What will we learn from you?

What actual reporting can you possibly do that delivers anything of value more than the infomercial — light on the info, heavy on the ‘mercial — that the conventions have become?

Would you be better off back at home covering voters and their issues?

Can we in the strapped news business afford this luxury?

Fair questions. I can't answer for the industry in its entirety. I can't even answer for my own paper. I'm just me. But I'll say what I think. I think the Tampa Bay Times does important work. I think PolitiFact does important work. I think there are many stories -- too many stories -- that are simplistic and lazy. But I also think -- I know -- there are many that aren't. I think being here and being back home "covering voters and their issues" shouldn't be an either-or thing. I think it's MORE important to be here, not less, BECAUSE the event is such an infomercial. I think the answer is not to not come. I think the answer is not to not spend the money to do that. I think the answer is to come and work better and harder and smarter.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 26, 2012 2:07pm]


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