Shalala running for Congress


On March 7, former UM president Donna Shalala announced her candidacy as representative of Florida’s 27th Congressional district.

Shalala is one of many contenders vying for the vacancy created by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s retirement. Shalala is running as a Democrat. Her platform includes issues such as LGBTQ rights and environmental conservation.

The Miami Hurricane did an excellent job of covering this story.

On Feb. 14, they published a speculative piece discussing the rumors that Shalala would run for Congress. This article displayed a commitment to the story and indicates that they were on top of any developments long before Shalala filed for candidacy.

There are also a number of corrections on the bottom of the article dated Feb. 16. These corrections show their transparency, since they could’ve made the corrections and not announced it in order to not risk a negative perception of their mistakes. They also could have avoided any corrections and hoped nobody would notice, which would have been very lazy reporting.

The Miami Hurricane’s Facebook page was very prompt in posting Shalala’s announcement on March 7. The timestamp on their “Breaking News” post was 10:39 a.m. The next post on their page was of a complete article on Shalala’s announcement, posted at 11:08 a.m. This gap of about half an hour shows how quick they were to produce a complete article in order to provide readers the full story in a timely manner.

In comparison, The Miami Herald’s Facebook page did not post about Shalala’s announcement until 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Granted, The Herald has many other stories they need to be covering and Shalala is a campus icon at UM, making her story one worth prioritizing for The Miami Hurricane.

The story by the Miami Herald focused on Shalala’s anti-Trump platform, her Clinton connections and what the competition will be like for that congressional seat. The story by The Miami Hurricane focused much more on the impact the news had on campus and included quotes from UM administrators, such as Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Whitely, and faculty such as Associate Professor of Political Science Joseph Uscinski.

The Miami Hurricane story also focused on Shalala’s impact during her tenure at UM to a greater extent than The Miami Herald did. These differences are illustrative of how different newspapers report their stories based on the audience. Whereas The Herald must tailor their stories to a greater Miami audience, The Hurricane can focus more on capturing the attention of the UM community, a much more specific audience.