My new post at CJR analyzes how reporters' dependence on news pegs is hampering coverage of Newt Gingrich in New Hampshire:
Given that Gingrich has seemingly come out of nowhere to mount the first serious challenge to Mitt Romney’s frontrunner status, it seemed appropriate to expect that he would receive newfound media scrutiny. But at least in New Hampshire, the coverage has been relatively thin in the state’s two major newspapers, the Union Leader and the Concord Monitor.
With Gingrich out of state, both newspapers had an opportunity to step outside the routine of daily campaign coverage and take a deeper look at the former Speaker’s history in politics, his current campaign, and the policies he has promised to pursue as president. Instead, however, the most sustained coverage of Gingrich’s record was driven by statements made by former New Hampshire governor John H. Sununu, a Romney surrogate. While Sununu's comments served as a convenient news peg, the controversy was less than illuminating.
Read the whole thing for more.