Apple News notable for doing what was once a sacred responsibility: detailing candidates’ policy positions

Apple News might be showing up traditional news organizations when it comes to keeping the electorate informed.
Cam MacMurchy

I remember the day Julian Castro decided to run for the Democratic nomination for president. The anchor on CBS threw to a reporter at Castro’s announcement in Florida and peppered him with a number of questions. I don’t remember them all exactly, but some included whether Castro’s heritage would help win the Latino vote, whether he would be able to win Florida in a general election, his choice of music at the announcement event, and whether he’s been too close to President Obama to win more left-leaning Democrats.

The interview was a long one by TV standards — upwards of five minutes. And at no point did the anchor or reporter provide a single policy position held by Castro. I heard all about his electability odds with smaller and smaller splinters of voters, yet I couldn’t tell you one thing he’d like to do as President.

I am no fan of Donald Trump, but the current state of the US media isn’t exactly healthy either. Trump’s antagonism of the press has pushed them into a de facto opposition role, one that it generally seems to have embraced. In doing so, I would submit it’s alienated a lot of Americans that just want the facts.

Which is why I was pleased to see Apple launch a new section of its growing Apple News app focused on the Democratic candidates and their positions. From 9to5Mac:

“The 2020 Democratic field is complex, and we want to offer Apple News readers a trusted place to learn more about candidates they’re familiar with and those they may be hearing about for the first time,” said Lauren Kern, editor-in-chief of Apple News. “The candidate guide in Apple News is a robust and reliable resource, connecting readers to valuable at-a-glance information and to great journalism from our partners.”

The section is very thoughtfully put together as a “Candidate’s Guide” that includes their priority issues, source of campaign funding, key endorsements, recent news, and much more.

There is so much negativity out there about journalism as a profession and news media as an industry, so it’s important to share good news and give praise when it’s deserved. Hopefully other media outlets follow Apple’s lead, but I won’t be placing any bets.

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