I have an article in the new issue of The Forum with John Sides of George Washington University and The Monkey Cage about how reporters can use political science to inform and improve their reporting:
How Political Science Can Help Journalism (and Still Let Journalists Be Journalists)
Political scientists frequently lament the media’s neglect of our research. Although reporters should have a basic understanding of the field, it is not reasonable to expect them to restate the conclusions of academic research on a daily basis. Moreover, it is not always clear how research findings apply within the conventions of political journalism, which is context-specific and episodic in nature. In this article, we propose an approach that would bring more political science to journalism while respecting the professional norms and organizational constraints of news organizations. Although academic research is not always conducive to the demands of the news cycle, political science provides a novel perspective that could improve reporting in five respects: putting episodic developments in a structural context; providing new angles on the news; countering spin about the effects of events by elites; better describing historical trends and comparisons; and identifying known unknowns in politics.
The article can be downloaded here from The Forum (free registration required) or you can get the PDF directly from my academic website -- hope you'll check it out. I also recommend taking a look at the rest of the issue on "Press, Politics, and Political Science," particularly Greg Marx's essay on why journalists haven't moved quickly to adopt lessons from political science (which I read and commented on in draft form).