Thursday, August 21, 2008

NDN Revamps Campaign Coverage- Kinda

The NDN recently decided to re-vamp its political forum format. Formerly it would privately interview candidates by groupings (Council, Lege, etc.) with its editorial board present plus a reporter. This would last appx. 90 min. There would be a middle-of-the-road article on this event and then this board would be responsible for making endorsements.

There would also be a public television forum with a moderator- usually the redoubtable Sheila Mullowney ("She Who Does it All"). The newspaper would then again print its middle-of-the-road article. I swear if I showed up stark naked to some of these events with a NDN reporter present, the part wherein I was naked would be red-lined.

This was a rather "feet don't fail me now" task for NDN staffers. That's a lot of people, "change," "I love my community," and "thinking outside the box" comments for any sane group of humans to listen to. Hmm, this begs the question if newspaper people are indeed sane. If they started off sane, they sure wouldn't end up that way- and some of their endorsements have proven that.

Thusly, in the name of sanity and openness and "transparency"- a change. Much for the better, I think. This year their editorial board forum will be the only televised presentation. These interviews will also be made available online, I believe (applause, applause). If it weren't for the NDN & Cox along with NCTC Access Group, you wouldn't know anything about the candidates AT ALL (more applause, applause).

While the question/answer format may still make you doze (mind you this will involve 14 Council candidates in Middletown alone), there will be likely more than one questioner. This still doesn't actually make the whole endorsement process very transparent though. I've been through it twice & still have yet to figure it out beyond- half Dems & half Reps throughout the State. Kinda places those running at the State level at a distinct disadvantage if they are Dems, doesn't it?

In the spirit of arousing more interest in elections & making the NDN endorsement process truly "transparent" (they love this in gov't but not so much in this process), I have some suggestions. How about an arm wrestling event? Female & male, of course. We could also have a height contest, or even one involving the curliest hair (I am esp. fond of the latter). There could be a broad jump event, a fast-talking contest, and a "gov't bowl" featuring knowledge-based questions & a buzzer. Heck, teams could be formed. I'm talking high-ratings events here.

Candidates could then be scored (editors could hold up numbers). There could even be a dance segment. You'd better know how to dance- remember Charles Durning's "Sidestep" from "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas?":

Ooh, I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don't- I've come and gone and, ooh, I love to sweep around the wide step, cut a little swathe and lead the people on.

Just some random thoughts. Of course, the NDN could include a campaign coverage column wherein candidates could get some actual print-time- a la Projo & what I'm doing along with John McDaid's "Hard Deadlines" blog- [BTW- good job, John, on those recent school & council candidate statements. I may be forced to stea... uh... borrow that idea]. On their website tab for "Elections" there is...nothing. For all media sources say they want good candidates and good government, they do mighty little to help them get their message out. I'm also referring here to radio (WADK), television, etc. Hello, "East Bay Newspapers", you offer even less. They all are quite willing to take our ad money though. If the media complains about lack of interest in elections, maybe some of the blame...

But they don't have to thank me for any of these suggestions. I live to serve.

BTW, Here is Sheila M's ("She who Does it All") "Editor's Report."
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