Gov. Chris Christie was in the spotlight during his trip to Israel, which one professor believes was partially because of the possibility of a run for vice president with Mitt Romney or a presidential run in the future. William Paterson University Communications Professor Joann Lee spoke with NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider about the media coverage of Christie’s trip, as well as the newspaper industry.
Lee said media organizations covered Christie’s trip to Israel from the perspective of him as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney. “We can see that they weren’t really covering Christie in terms of just going to Israel,” she said. “They were really looking at him in terms of a potential national VP candidate.”
She said the timing of the trip was “impeccable” because it kept Christie in the limelight and reflected positively on him in the eyes of Jewish New Jerseyans.
Lee said she thought the New York Post‘s “negative comments about size” in an article with a headline “The whale at the wall” ended up giving Christie a lot more media exposure.
It recently made headlines that New Jersey political boss George Norcross is buying the Philadelphia Inquirer. Lee said the newspaper industry is a tough one to enter currently.
“I think nationwide the newspaper industry is taking a big hit on the chin. And I’m saying this in terms of circulation, future readership, advertising, that type of stuff,” Lee said. “This is a very risky time to sink money into the newspaper business.”
While the economic aspect of the industry may be struggling, Lee said the influence that newspapers can have won’t go away easily.
“Newspapers today are more than just the bricks and mortar ideas of print and paper. It represents a voice,” Lee said. “And as long as that voice is important and can be marketed on some scale whether politically or economically, you’re going to see people still interested in newspapers.”