In about ten days, the most broadcasted political event on earth will take place in Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, on Monday, September 26th. That is when Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s candidate, and Donald Trump, the G.O.P.’s candidate, will face each other in the first presidential debate of the 2016 general election.
The WPI program started almost one month ago. In these days, the most repeated thing is that this 2016 presidential election is unusual, the most weird election in the recent years of the United States.
That idea has been repeated by citizens on the streets, academics, journalist, or politicians (democrats or republicans).
Piles of papers stacked at the edge of desks. Cups of coffee that were left behind due to the rush. Phones ringing and old headlines highlighted with red marker hanging in the walls. Visiting the editorial newsroom of the Star Tribune on August 14, along with the 2014 WPI fellows, remained me how good is the feeling of working on an in-depth feature that only relies on interviews, research and analysis, released from editorial constraints imposed by political censorship.
Welcome to the brave new media world, where lumbering giants are being humbled by nimbler johnnies-come-lately. A world where senior editors of venerable newspapers have the deer-in-the-headlights look while those of new media outlets have a precocious twinkle in their eyes. After visiting several flagship newspapers around the United States, it is clear that the business model that the print media relied on for decades does not work anymore. Circulations are falling as the younger generation mostly consumes news online. This in turn has led to a steep fall in advertising dollars.