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Election Coverage: A Potpourri of Ideas

Election Coverage: A Potpourri of Ideas


  1. Our agenda  Editorial pages  Endorsements  Letters to

    the editor  Covering results  Election night  Post-election analysis  Unorthodox stories
  2. Endorsements  True calling of newspapers  Publish explanatory column

     Identify issues, criteria  Solicit other opinions  Allow opportunity for feedback  Let readers connect dots
  3. Explain: Why we endorse ‘For the past several weeks individuals

    and organizations have been lining up behind candidates. They’ve outlined their support – or nonsupport – for candidates based on their specific interests. … Our special interest is the livelihood of the broader communities.’
  4. Editorial: Choices for council ‘Increasing pressures from Twin Cities sprawl,

    coupled with financial stress in light of a looming state budget deficit, mean leaders in both the public and private sectors must work doubly hard to strengthen Red Wing as a regional trade center.’
  5. Editorial: For sheriff, a draw ‘We spent considerable time examining

    this race. We’ve observed both candidates over the years. We attended candidate forums. We talked to people who have worked with both men. We asked people at random whom they support.’
  6. Letters to the editor  Lifeblood of editorial page 

    Be wary of orchestrated campaigns  Decide criteria  Ads vs. letters  Stories vs. letters  Address 11th-hour exchanges
  7. Explain: Nice try, but … ‘Letter-writing campaigns are very much

    part of campaign strategies today. Candidates see it as a way to supplement paid advertising.’
  8. Reporting/analyzing the results  Be organized  Use entire staff,

    all departments  More than votes and quotes  Do your research  Use graphics  Be ready for surprises
  9. Editorial: What did they say? ‘On the surface, many may

    see these races as separate outcomes. But upon closer review, one factor likely rang true in all three races: Voters sent a message that they want tighter reins on public spending.’
  10. Unorthodox stories  Pre-election stories  Change of pace for

    staff, readers  Have some fun  Election Day/post-election stories  Provide analysis
  11. Community Newsroom Success Strategies “Bad News and Good Judgment: A

    Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in a Small- Town Newspaper" "Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Campaign Coverage" "Journalism Primer: A Guide to Community News Coverage for Beginning and Veteran Journalists in the Age of New Media" Jim Pumarlo Newspaper Consultant Red Wing MN (651) 380-4295 [email protected] www.pumarlo.com