Reaching American Voters: Strengthen Candidates’ Traditional and New Media Approaches

Ron Nessen
Ron Nessen Journalist in Residence

February 28, 2007

The media’s focus on who’s ahead or who’s behind in the polls—rather than on candidates’ positions on specific issues—is worrisome. Presidential candidates seeking to define themselves to voters must pay attention to major changes in the media and public attitudes toward it.

Presidential candidates, as well as the next President, will need to explain policies and proposals to the voting public. Specific recommendations about how to do so effectively through the news media include:

  • educate reporters about complex issues
  • never lie and never cover up
  • get off the defensive and go on the offensive
  • put out the bad news yourself

Download Position Paper (PDF) 
Download Fact Sheet (PDF)

Opportunity 08 aims to help 2008 presidential candidates and the public focus on critical issues facing the nation, presenting policy ideas on a wide array of domestic and foreign policy questions. The project is committed to providing both independent policy solutions and background material on issues of concern to voters.