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“Broken” political system, changing journalism industry discussed at Tenth Annual Schieffer Symposium

The shifting states of journalism and American politics were two of the topics discussed at the Tenth Annual Schieffer Symposium on the News Wednesday night in Ed Landreth Hall.

The symposium, led by TCU alum and CBS Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer, featured a panel with Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, former TODAY Show anchor Jane Pauley, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley and Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward.

The panelists began the symposium by commenting on the state of American journalism and how it has changed since the advent of the Internet.

“[American] journalism right now is in a precarious position,” Noonan said. “It’s finding its sea legs for the first time in generations.”

Pelley agreed, saying that the Internet has created an environment where too much bad information is available to the public, which might cause people to trust traditional media over online news.

“People are looking for a brand they can trust,” Pelley said.

The panel unanimously agreed that the American political system is broken, citing polarizing partisanship and the emphasis on money in Washington, D.C.

“I think it’s a leadership problem in both parties,” Woodward said. “Obama is isolated in so many ways– he hasn’t built relationships among Republicans or Democrats.”

Pauley, whom Schieffer just named as a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, said that another issue with the Amercian political process was how polarizing it has become.

“There are no moderates,” Pauley said.

All of these problems will play a huge part in the 2016 presidential election, Noonan said.

“I see more of an anti-incumbent wave than an anti-Democrat wave coming in the next few years,” Noonan said.

The panel agreed that even with all of the problems surrounding journalism and politics, now is the best time to become a journalist.

“All this bad news is good for business,” Pauley said.

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