COLUMN: Equal coverage in an election year
In case you haven’t heard, we are approaching the final few months of a presidential election. It has been a unique year for national politics, to say the least.
Both major party nominees are generally viewed by many American voters as less than the perfect option.
Some voters flat out hate both candidates. Young people, especially, have added fervor and energy to the daily political debate on social media and websites across the world.
As Central Michigan University students return to campus this weekend, the Central Michigan Life staff is preparing to cover various campaign stops by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in Michigan.
In fact, we’ve already begun. On Aug. 19, we sent a team of reporters to cover Donald Trump’s rally in Dimondale, a village south of Lansing.
Let us be clear. We plan to cover both candidates equally, fairly and whenever possible.
News organizations are often criticized for covering one candidate more than another. This, to us, is a matter of simple math.
If Clinton makes 10 stops in Michigan, CM Life will cover her campaign’s arrival 10 times. If Trump makes three appearances in our coverage area, we’ll be there three times.
Part of CM Life’s purpose on this campus, which you can read about in today’s staff editorial, is to provide the best journalistic opportunities it can to students.
We are proud of our objective and politically-balanced staff. Many of our student editors have experience covering local and statewide political elections.
We’re excited to cover national politics this year.
We’ll cover local races as well. Kevin Cotter, the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives and a CMU graduate, has reached his term limit. We will cover the battle for his seat representing the local electorate in the 99th State House district with vigor.
The only exception to our political coverage rule will be when it comes to purely opinion-based content. This aspect of the public debate and the media’s role is a littler murkier.
We understand our service to students. We take your political ideals seriously. You have a right to make yourself heard on public policy and social issues. We are here to provide a vehicle for you to do that.
If you’d like to debate the issues at the forefront of this year’s election, we encourage you to do so on our opinion pages and social media platforms. Submit a letter to the editor by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org
But when it comes to news coverage, the platform of no presidential candidate will dictate our coverage plans.
As America prepares to make a decision on which candidate it wants to lead the free world, the debate is sure to grow to a new level of intensity.
Our goal is to never add unnecessary fuel to that fire, but rather to keep you from getting burned by the ignorance of silence and what’s worse: politically-charged nonsense.