The whys, wherefores of our election coverage
It's Prescott municipal election time again, and emotions are running higher in this one than during any in recent memory, for a number of reasons.
This also is the time it's necessary to explain the difference between a newspaper and a "usepaper."
The Daily Courier has a number of policies that it articulates during every election.
First and foremost, it will offer the most comprehensive, fair and balanced coverage of the candidates and their views on the issues as possible to give voters the information they need to make a reasoned choice for mayor and for three council seats. That coverage has included an initial in-depth interview with each candidate, extensive question-and-answer packages on all major issues and coverage of all major candidate forums.
Second, the Courier will strive for fairness and balance in other election-related coverage and make sure that both sides of an issue or all candidates get a chance to comment.
Third, and this is the key point about the difference between a newspaper and a "usepaper," the Courier will not publish any letters to the editor or "Talk of the Town" pieces that endorse or attack individual candidates. If candidates are serious, they should have advertising budgets, and if they want to beat up on opponents, they should pay for the privilege. Many supporters have a missionary zeal for their candidates, but they, too, should add their signatures to an advertisement. The "Our Readers Speak" section is a forum for ideas, not an additional place to post candidate posters. The Courier will publish letters on the Responsible Growth Initiative that shed light on the issues.
Finally, The Daily Courier will make recommendations in the election. We're not telling people how to vote but rather encouraging them to think about the candidates in light of the real issues rather than sound bites and slogans.