My new column at Columbia Journalism Review lauds the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Craig Gilbert for his unusual approach to covering politics, which draws far more deeply on political science than any other reporter working today. Here's how it begins:
One of the most encouraging trends in journalism over the past few years has been the tentative embrace of political science by a number of reporters and pundits. To be sure, that embrace is partial and incomplete: poli sci can still do more to inform news coverage, which still tends to rely on elite sources like pundits, operatives, and elected officials rather than academic research and the scholars who produce it. But notable journalists like The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein and David Leonhardt and Adam Liptak of The New York Times now routinely consult political scientists as sources and frame stories in ways that reflect academic insights...
The reporter who’s probably done more than anyone else to integrate political science into daily news coverage, however, actually works at a regional newspaper in the Midwest: Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Among the nearly 700 articles archived under Gilbert’s byline in the Nexis Academic database, a remarkable 16 percent mention the terms “political science” or “political scientist.” And a closer examination of this coverage over the last two years reveals that these aren’t just cursory citations or “expert” quotes that fill out stories—Gilbert’s consultation with academics frequently allows him to bring in data or findings that are neglected in mainstream political coverage.
Read the whole thing for more.