Chuck Todd: Social media has flattened out barriers to entry for presidential candidates

If you ask NBC Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd how social media has changed political coverage, he’ll tell you that it’s made it more reactive, and more anecdotal.

Chuck Todd

“140 characters is a great way of sharing the anecdote, but you can sometimes be drilling down so far that you forget the big picture,” Todd told me in a phone interview. He said he feels lucky to have a job where he can share anecdotes on Twitter and his TV show “The Daily Rundown,” and then take a look at the bigger picture on the “NBC Nightly News” and the “Today Show.”

Using Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as an example, Todd also said that social media has helped flatten out the barriers to entry for a presidential candidate: “Before social media, Herman Cain would not have been able to get the type of traction he’s gotten that would have allowed him to be in the presidential debate just four years ago.”

I interviewed Todd about this and about how he uses social media — Twitter in particular — to get news and share it with others. I also talked with him about why he thinks blocking people on Twitter is anti-First Amendment and why “the media is flat.”

I’ve admired Todd’s work for a long time, so I was happy to have the opportunity to talk with him. He was friendly and open, and our talk seemed more like a genuine conversation than a formal interview. Cheers to that.

You can read the full interview here. …

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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