Donald Trump

Generals, it’s famously said, are always ready to fight the last war. The same goes for journalists.

The US media’s misreading of the 2016 presidential election (echoed in Australia’s 2019 election) has driven an eagerness to get right what went wrong, as readers ask: can we trust the media this time around?

The angst about 2016 is not because journalists got the horse-race wrong. It was because they missed the bigger story of the fundamental social shifts. After drawing some lessons, journalism has accelerated the evolution from old-fashioned stenographic reporting to a more deeply analytical journalism of context.