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Op-Ed: Elections and the News

This article contains opinions and/or editorial content.

An informed electorate is essential for an open democracy.

I put that in big blue letters because it’s important.  Very important.

The role of journalists–whether on TV, on the radio, in print, or online–should be to inform and educate the people so they can cast the vote that is best for them and their community.  It is not our role to tell people what to think or who to vote for.

Candidate Neutral

Small town politics can be tricky.  We all know each other, we all interact with each other in social situations, community organizations, and business dealings.  You may be fellow members, business partners, or good friends with a candidate and still vote for their opponent on election day.

As a newspaper, the Chronicle has frequent interaction–and depends on strong relationships–with all of the area municipalities.  This, obviously, includes the elected representatives in each of them.

We will, however, be doing everything we can to be “candidate neutral”.   The Chronicle will not endorse nor disparage any candidate1If there is legitimate news to report which shines a negative light on a candidate, we will report it.  We will, however, do our best to keep it to the facts and allow readers to form their own opinions..  All candidates–including those who may wish to pursue a write-in candidacy–will be given the same opportunities to use the Chronicle to voice their message.

Questions and Answers

It’s our goal for the Lodi Valley Chronicle to be the go-to source for interaction with the candidates.

Throughout the election cycle, we will be asking candidates questions.  Every candidate will receive the same questions, and responses will be posted in the order they’re received.  We want those questions to come from you.  What do you want to know?  What issues are important to you?  Let us know.  Questions will remain anonymous2You are required to include a name and e-mail address on the form, but it won’t be published.  Name and e-mail are required so we can contact you if we require more information or need to clarify anything.  It’s also used to eliminate spam..

Giving a Voice

Any candidate who wants, will be given a column in the Chronicle to say whatever they want.  These columns will have only minimal editorial oversight for technical and security issues.  You will see the candidates’ words exactly as they write them–typos and bad grammar included.

We’ll be creating a “Letters to the Editor” section where you can speak your voice.

And, if there is enough interest, we will create an online forum where voters and candidates can interact directly.

 

Footnotes

Footnotes
1 If there is legitimate news to report which shines a negative light on a candidate, we will report it.  We will, however, do our best to keep it to the facts and allow readers to form their own opinions.
2 You are required to include a name and e-mail address on the form, but it won’t be published.  Name and e-mail are required so we can contact you if we require more information or need to clarify anything.  It’s also used to eliminate spam.

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