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Jill Abramson on the problems with today’s political reporting

Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe/file 2014/Josh Reynolds for The Boston Glo

The Boston Globe presents the Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast, a weekly podcast on public policy, politics, and global issues. HKS PolicyCast is hosted by Matt Cadwallader.

This week on the Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast podcast, former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson gives her perspective on how the media has shaped the 2016 presidential race.

“I have a thirst for really good stories that go beyond the development of the minute and disclose something important and interesting about the candidate,” she says. “I worry that the best political reporters don’t have the time, because of the pressures of feeding the beast all the time, to step away and do the kind of real enterprise and investigative journalism that I had the privilege to do.”


In the interview, Abramson gives her take on whether the media played a part in Donald Trump’s success, why political reporters should think beyond fact checking, and why coverage of both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton has been closely scrutinized by their respective supporters.

“[If] Trump supporters don’t care that much about the facts, I’m not sure Bernie’s hard-core supporters care about the specifics,” Abramson says. “For them, he speaks in a kind of moral way about economic inequality and injustice, and that definitely connects with a lot of people.”

You can listen to the episode above, or download the episode for free on iTunes.