Post-Dispatch’s election day coverage won’t get your ankles wet

This is what StLToday passes off as election day coverage:

Few races to watch in today’s ward primary in St. Louis

Sorry, y’all, but you are the major newspaper of a large American city. You have to do better. Jake Wagman’s piece does not even note the names of aldermanic challengers in some races, let alone discuss their platforms or their records. We wouldn’t want anybody thinking about public policy specifics on election day, now would we? Instead of even mentioning candidates’ names, Wagman opts to simply observe that contested races exist and “upsets are possible.” Maybe next election day, the P-D can publish an equally informative piece about how the sky is blue.

If this is the kind of political information that many voters have to go on, how the hell are they going to make a remotely informed decision? I know it’s “just” a primary, but in single-party St. Louis, the primary generally is the election.

How important are aldermanic races? Ask someone who lives next to an LRA-owned vacant building. The alderman gets discretion over not only over who can buy an LRA building, but whether that building is even listed for sale in the first place. In a 65 square mile city that elects its Board of Alderman by 28 teeny tiny districts, your alderman is a big deal.

You know who loves shallow election coverage? Incumbents–both individuals, and the larger power structure itself. Shallow political coverage like this only encourages ongoing stagnation at 1200 Market.

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Published in: on March 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. it’s like Jack wrote the article on his phone while he was in the john!

  2. check out the Saint Louis Activist Hub archives for some of Mr. Wagman’s best reporting. the guy’s a partisan lackey and an embarrassment to honest journalists.

  3. maybe this is why — Turnout Tuesday was struggling to reach 5 percent.

    • Certainly, the situation is very chicken/egg. But nonetheless, if the P-D and other StL media treated the election it like it mattered and was something to know about, more people would likely vote.


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