In two weeks, the votes will be cast, the hanging chads will be unhung and the long-dead voters who have lent their names to the cause of democracy will still be sleeping in their bipartisan graves. Election season will be over and everyone (or most everyone) will be able to get on with their lives. But in the meantime, the DTH is charged with the peculiar task of covering a presidential election in Chapel Hill.
I say peculiar because few newspapers out there have an audience so unified in its political persuasion. And I don’t just mean the liberal college kids. Orange County as a whole, though of course not unanimously liberal, is one of the most liberal counties in the state (and I remind you that the DTH is the county’s only daily newspaper, as well as its paper of record).
For a newspaper staff, the conversation in such an environment becomes, how can we offer a substantive contribution? This concern has so far manifested itself in our voters’ guide, which came out Monday, and our editorial board’s endorsements, which will be in Friday’s paper.
In the voters’ guide, you might have noticed that we didn’t include anything about the presidential race. On Friday, we won’t endorse a candidate for president.
The reason for this is, basically, we thought it would be silly and futile to do either. In the voters’ guide, the raw amount of information, speculation and circumstance about the presidential race would have been impossible to condense into profiles. In addition, we felt that we couldn’t tell you anything you didn’t already know. Unlike the Des Moines Register, we didn’t get a 30-minute interview with the president. Which is not to say that I haven’t asked (by the way, Rick Green has now set the standard for most powerful editor’s blog in the world). On issues specific to our audience, higher education funding and student loans, for example, we’ve offered some coverage on the news side.