Journalism advice: ‘Push against the conventional wisdom’

Christina Reynolds, VP of communications for Emily’s List, and an alum of Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, spoke to my post-grad group this week. She talked politics and journalism from a vantage point this group isn’t used to hearing: from the candidates’ side.¬† She is a straight-talker and gave impressive insight.

Here is a little of the journalism advice she gave, edited for clarity:

“A tip to all the future journalists: We’re all watching your Twitter because we know you say more in your Twitter than you do in the questions you ask and sometimes in your stories. It’s how we get that this person doesn’t like this idea or this person seems to think this or think that.”

“Diversify your sources and make sure that you’re talking to a lot of different people. I try to talk to a bunch of different reporters and I find that there are reporters who only talk to the same people and those same people end up in their quotes. What I find is the ones who reach out to more people and to different people get better stories. I know that seems obvious, but you find that¬† a lot of political reporters are always talk to the same people.”

“You know conventional wisdom is not always right. And sometimes we fall victim to just assuming that it is. Stop believing the random pundits on TV. I think part of what makes you good on TV or a good political operative is sounding definitive. Push against the conventional wisdom. That’s important.”