If it matters to you, it matters to us.
This slogan guided many morning meetings and interactions with readers when I was part of an independent newsroom, and the philosophy lives on even in the larger context of the Shaw Local News Network.
It’s often easy for local reporters to understand the issues of the day, but sometimes broadening the scope comes at the expense of clarity. One of the benefits of collaboration in the newsroom is an increased ability to leverage resources, which brings me to the local election reader survey. Our editorial team designed the project as a way to ensure that the questions reporters ask candidates truly reflect the issues that matter to their constituencies.
Politicians are adept at framing debate. Focusing on the personal strengths or perceived weaknesses of opponents is understandable, but it often allows them to avoid talking about the actual mechanics of the job they seek. How will they turn their ideas into legislation? Do they think these proposals can pass or be signed? How will they finance their initiatives?
A personal concern is candidates whose stump speeches focus on areas that the office they seek cannot effectively address. It could be a county council candidate complaining about toll maintenance, a hopeful state legislator who always wants to discuss foreign policy, or even a school board member who thinks getting elected will give him the power to fire teachers or coaches.
Although more than 1,500 readers have already completed the survey — jotform.com/220325900118141 – it remains open as an option to let us know your top priorities in races for state and county offices, ranking the top three priorities from a long list via a drop-down menu, along with some answer questions COVID-19 and your likelihood of voting.
There are also a few text boxes to type in anything the survey doesn’t address, like the meat of this email a Magnolia resident sent me last week:
“I would appreciate it if, as the primaries approach, you would list whether Republican candidates running for office are (or are not) pro Trump (I am not). This information would help me be a more informed voter.
When it comes time for GOP voters to delineate the main opponents, often in crowded fields, it will indeed be useful to know who accepts and does not accept partisan narratives about the 2020 election as well as the events of January 6. 2021. , at the United States Capitol. The ability to speak candidly about these topics sheds significant light on how a candidate might behave as an elected official.
Your priorities may differ, so we continue to seek insights into what matters to you – it matters to us.