And those are just the ethical questions. News production entails a number of practical considerations that aren’t often explained to the folks on the receiving end. Why do news organizations spend so much time lobbying to get their photographers into the White House when there’s an official one already there? What’s a “pool spray”? Why do news outlets get exclusivity for televising primary debates but not general election debates? What’s the deal with “deep background”? Why does the media send hordes and hordes of reporters to the same press conferences?
In recognition that day-to-day coverage of the media very often glosses over these inscrutable yet critical aspects of newsgathering, we are creating a special feature titled “Dear Mainstream Media” (or “Dear MSM,” for short), a grouping of which The Washington Post is commonly identified as a member — many times in contexts that don’t paint this membership in a favorable light.
For all you folks out there looking to have your media questions answered, please make your inquires through the form below, or send them via Facebook or Twitter.