Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Candidate profiles

The Courier started a series yesterday on our candidates for city office, and has so far managed two fouls off two pitches.

In yesterday's piece on Steve Blair, Cindy Barks is pretty careful to ensure that characterizations of Blair are left to the man himself, so the paper doesn't get involved in any qualitative judgment of what he's done. Unfortunately the headline writer tossed this professionalism out the window with glee. If you mean to quote someone, use quote marks.

Cindy chose a little drama for her lead today in the piece on Alan DuBiel, characterizing him as "persistent." I've seen him walking my neighborhood in the sun, and sweaty is not a good look for the man, so the adjective may seem inescapable, but it's still against the rules in a political piece.

No regular Courier reader will be surprised if the paper isn't completely circumspect about how it handles political candidates -- or even sitting officials. This time around, though, I'd like to be surprised at its professionalism.

What I've pointed to today are details many might consider niggly, but over time details build up in the voter's mind, and a monopoly paper's most important duty to society is to inform its voters properly, with facts, not bias. I intend to keep an especially close eye on campaign coverage.

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