Thursday, August 19, 2010

WaPo Takes a Front Page Stab at Target and Emmer Story, Comes up Short

The Washington Post goes A1 this morning with "Campaign spending puts Target in bull's-eye" but the story comes up with essentially no new information. The article, by Jia Lynn Yang and Dan Eggen, is mostly filled with information that could have been published a week or more ago. It's the Post's first full article on the subject; Eggen had mentioned the Target / Emmer matter back in a July 28 article about Senate Republicans threatening to fillibuster the federal bill that would require disclosure of donors.

The Post should play catch-up when it needs to, but putting a story on the front page when you aren't adding anything new is not good.

Other outlets have covered this ground, and more. The AP has covered this relatively throughly, as has Politico and the LATimes. had a pretty thorough story back on July 28th. The StarTribune has chronicled the story, while MinnPost has done extensive reporting.

The Post's story today tries to emphasize the bigger picture of what this episode does or doesn't mean for companies making political donations in a post-Citizens United world. The writers get quotes from both sides, and there's nothing particularly new or informative. This question, though, has already been noted in some of those other outlets, such as by TPM on August 9th.

The Post needs to find ways to tell us something new on the front page, not summarize what we already knew.

Update: In Friday's paper, the LATimes added some interesting new reporting on the subject in "Target feels backlash from shareholders."


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