Editor’s Note: This is an editorial, written from the perspective of Central Current Editor-in-Chief Julie McMahon.
Election Day is a chance to hold elected officials accountable, to send them a message about how you think they’re doing.
It’s a way to show local candidates you are paying attention to their choices and how they represent our community.
We at Central Current encourage you to get out and vote if you haven’t already.
Heading into the voting booth and need a refresher on local elections? Check out our Election Guide.
I wanted to take a moment to explain our approach: Central Current chose to focus on a handful of local races this year.
We’re a small staff and just getting started, so we opted to devote resources to campaigns that otherwise don’t receive much attention, and supplement coverage of races that we thought voters in Onondaga County needed more information on this year, including:
- Onondaga County Court judges’ race
- Onondaga County sheriff’s race
- 50th State Senate District race
- 48th State Senate District race
We’ll also be covering the results and biggest stories that everyone is watching too, such as the 22nd Congressional District. We’ll have reporters and photographers at both Republican and Democratic campaigns on Election Night.
If you like to follow and engage with the results live, be sure to follow us on Twitter.
Check back to centralcurrent.org in the days after the election for our coverage and analysis. We’ll help you make sense of the results and find the story amid the firehose that is election coverage.
Our commitment to you
Our emphasis will always be on serving the local people who live in our community. On that note, I wanted emphasize something you will not see from Central Current during election season: editorial endorsements. In fact, this is about the closest thing to an editorial you’ll see from us.
First and foremost, we believe the role of journalism is to provide you with information you need to make decisions — in the voting booth and elsewhere — for yourself.
We take that responsibility seriously.
As a 501(c)3, we are legally prohibited from offering political endorsements. As leader of this organization, I’m happy about that.
While I do think there is a role for opinion journalism and commentary in local news, I believe that telling you who to vote for, or who not vote for, is a distraction from our very precious mission right now.
As a startup news organization, our staff is laser-focused on fact-based, high quality reporting; building trust; getting to know the informational needs of the community and filling in those gaps.
And we’re not alone. Papers and publications across the country are moving away from endorsements.
As the article linked above notes, readers often cite endorsements as the reason they cancel their subscriptions. We have the data to see these endorsements often don’t get read, and they create issues with credibility and distrust.
With the way many newsrooms are organized and websites are laid out, we don’t blame readers who have a hard time distinguishing between opinion and news, or have a hard time believing that an editorial position doesn’t affect news coverage.
Too often it seems editorial boards are striving for false balance or endorsing a candidate seen as the lesser of two evils.
We commit to you: Central Current won’t tell you who to vote for; we’ll be staying focused on producing journalism you can’t get anywhere else in Central New York.
If you like what you’ve seen so far, and want to see more, I encourage you to consider supporting us with a donation through the NewsMatch campaign.
I have to make a plug because right now, we have an opportunity to stretch — really, at least double — your local dollars with national matching funds.
Through Dec. 31, NewsMatch will match your new monthly donation 12 times or double your one-time gift, all up to $1,000. That means that, through NewsMatch, we can earn up to $15,000 in matches by the end of the year.
Thank you for considering a donation, and most of all, thank you for reading Central Current!
—Julie McMahon, editor-in-chief
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