We are in the midst of another election season in Minnesota — this will be my eighth since joining MinnPost.
As you can imagine, election coverage elicits a number of interesting conversations in the newsroom between reporters and editors, but one that comes up without fail has to do with timing: Is it too early to write this particular election story? Are people even paying attention yet?
There are a lot of opinions about this and not a lot of factual bases for them, and anyway eventually the stories get published and are read — some more than others.
But then another thing happens, also pretty much without fail every year: on the day before the election, and even more so on election day, stories that we’ve published throughout the year having to do with issues and candidates in the election suddenly see big jumps in readership — everything from who’s running for the Legislature to the details on, uh, colorful Supreme Court candidates.
Now as an engaged citizen who always keeps up with the news you may be tempted to scoff at people scrambling to bone up on the election the day before they vote — or in line at their polling place! — but I see those story views as a big affirmation of the work we do. People are busy, and if MinnPost can provide Minnesotans with clear information they can trust about what they are voting on — no matter when they need it — that feels like we are filling a pretty important role in our democracy.
We make our stories available to everyone in Minnesota for free. But we also put a lot of work into creating them. The members who support our work with financial donations make this possible. If you value the information MinnPost provides to Minnesotan voters to help them make informed choices, and you are able, please make a gift to support our work.
Meanwhile, we’re working on our coverage for this year’s election and the ones to come. I hope you’ll read the stories — whether on the day we publish them or on Election Day.