Editorial: Courier election coverage starting
The fight is on now for Election 2008.
At The Daily Courier, we have a motto about our role in the process: If a newspaper doesn't do elections right, it doesn't do anything right.
That means we will do our best to give readers a maximum amount of useful information on the candidates and their stands on the issues and a minimum amount of self-serving rhetoric.
This year, all three Yavapai County supervisor seats are up for election, along with the county assessor, county recorder, county attorney, county school superintendent, county sheriff, county treasurer and three Superior Court judges.
We have contested races for assessor, sheriff and District 1 county supervisor.
Yavapai County voters also will be choosing a U.S. Representative for District 1 as well as a state senator for Legislative District 1 and one for District 4, state representatives for those districts, and state corporation commissioners.
Courier coverage will include complete biographies of all candidates, plus extensive question-and-answer packages about the candidates' views on major issues that fall under the duties of the offices they seek.
The paper also will cover candidate forums and other events on a case-by-case basis. It will judge whether to cover the events based on the amount of useful information those events will provide the voters.
When candidates start trading charges against each other, the Courier always will strive to get comments from all candidates for a particular office. Failing that, it will explain its efforts to get comments from the other side and why it was unable to get them. It also will follow up on subsequent news cycles to obtain balancing comments.
The Courier will not publish letters to the editor endorsing individual candidates. Candidates have advertising budgets to promote themselves. The "Readers Speak" section is a forum for ideas and issues, not a place to tout candidates.
As in past elections, the Courier will make editorial recommendations in contested races, not in an effort to dictate to readers how to vote but rather to make them think about their choices.
The newspaper's coverage will conclude by July 31 to avoid any last-minute smear tactics that some candidates have used in the past.