Jarvis: “Covering conventions a waste”

Forbes.com reports that the number of journalists covering the conventions this fall will remain at the same level as 2004 and 2000: 15,000 of them. What a waste. The outcome of the conventions is known. There will be no news. Why are these news organizations sending so many staffers there?

Ego. That’s it, pure ad simple: Our man in Denver. Instead of your woman. It’s for bylines, bylines the public couldn’t care less about. The coverage will be no different outlet to outlet. We can watch it all ourselves on C-SPAN.

The conventions aren’t news. Anymore they are only staged events to get media coverage. And it works. But it’s not for the public good that they’re covered.

Don’t try to feed me that line about how they’ll be covering their local delegations. Their local delegations never make news — not since 1968 anyway — and their actions couldn’t be more predictable, less newsworthy. If you want to cover the locals, cover them at home — before the event. But you still won’t get any news from them.” — BuzzMachine

Ouch. That’s a little close to home. Each of our networks send reporters to the Big Show. I’ll leave it to the real journalists to argue Jarvis’ point.

I will offer one other rational for sending a reporter to the convention. It’s kind of cool. I know, I know… it’s a hell of a lot of work… certainly no vacation. But for reporters below the national level, getting to go to a Big Event like this is something of a spiff. There I said it. Now where did I put my Shit Storm helmet?

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