The Bubble

The freedom of the press under the past two Presidents has been increasingly restricted when it comes to the President’s image. Santiago Lyon in the NY Times points out the increasing use of President Obama to label all events as private, thus preventing media from covering these occurrences. The restriction over access to the President did not start with President Obama, but with the 200o Presidential campaigns where both candidates limited their accessibility to the press. Before this the press were frequently with the President and other politicians, especially on campaigns. The media covered both good and bad images of the president,  but with new restrictions on the President’s image, there’s been a movement away from reporters moving with different campaigns. Different reasons are at fault for this including the increasing cost of supporting reporters, restriction to candidates, and most importantly the problem of crowd mentality or “the bubble” from the reporters themselves. Paul Farhi describes the effects of being in the bubble as being “…dimly aware of information and important decisions that are being made elsewhere“. However, there is an even darker side to the bubble. The bubble simplifies political ideals in order to not confuse the reader and that the bubble helps to control coverage of a politician, effectively making it a propaganda tool which can manipulate a person’s image. The consequences of violating the bubble include denying access to the candidate and a denial of one’s work as a journalist.

There does seem to be a way to escape the soapy sphere though as non-traditional reporters are able to bypass the bubble by just not being a part of it. Bloggers such as Mayhill Fowler was able to get candidate’s true opinions by just asking as part of a campaign contributor. Other reporters forgo 24 hour access to the candidates, instead opting to travel independently allowing them to get a different scoop.


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