Katie Couric and the presidential election of 2008

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Eve MacSweeney interviews Katie Couric in Vogue magazine about her memorable interviews in the 2008 election, her skills as a journalist, and her impact on the news and the industry.

The article maintained its fashion agenda without skimping on the significant details of what makes Couric important as a journalist. In the beginning MacSweeney described her as being  "buffed to a high polish: shiny blonde bob, apple-cheeked smile, crisp white shirt, sharp black pencil skirt, and smooth, honey-colored legs." But what followed afterward was anything but superficial.   

I found it interesting that this profile feature highlighted Couric's struggles and successes in relation with each notable candidate she had previously interviewed: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, and John McCain.  

McCain: When she accepted the position as anchor for the CBS Evening News back in September of 2006, Couric described it as "almost like being John McCain, running for office in a really tough environment." She had to deal with new audiences that have been accustomed to cable shows, the Internet, and changing lifestyles. In the midst of all this, Couric also had to face certain realities. The show lost more viewers and ratings fell with Couric anchoring the CBS Evening News. They were rated third place among the other networks.

Clinton: Many critics found pleasure in seeing Couric struggle with the ratings, as they did with Clinton and her decline in voters' support. Couric was criticized for aiming too high, but to a certain extent encouraged at the same time. MacSweeney described it as wanting "to see Couric, like Hillary, chastened but not persecuted."

Palin: There were also some similarities between Couric and Palin. Both women wanted objective and non-judgmental reporting. When Couric reminisced about her interview with Palin, she described it as fascinating when she watched her formulating answers. She wanted to remain neutral. "I was just a conduit to get her point of view out there," Couric said.

Obama: Like Obama, she earned the trust of viewers as time went along. Through quality news stories and objective journalism, she had proven herself once again to the public.  

1 Comment

This is a great profile feature. The author chosed an interesting angle in telling Katie Couric's story--"The "milestone for this country," as she described the outcome at the polls, has been a milestone for Couric, too."
The blogger's comment also hit the mark. I particularly like the part the blog described how the author conduct the lead:
"The article maintained its fashion agenda without skimping on the significant details of what makes Couric important as a journalist......But what followed afterward was anything but superficial."

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