If there's a time when the media is duty-bound to play a public service role, it's during an election. But figuring how exactly to fulfill that duty isn't easy. Do you simply convey candidates' messages to the voters, or take on the weightier task of deciding what claims are and aren't true? Do you cover all the candidates a little, or focus more on the ones who are likely to win?
As these coverage decisions get made every election year, one element that often goes missing is any detailed assessment of what voters think. Sure, there are polls and the occasional person-on-the-street interview, but it's rare to get a deep understanding of why voters think the way they do—especially in a place like New York City, where millions of registered voters cover five boroughs spanning more than 300 square miles.
This year, City Limits and City & State decided to try to provide that missing piece of campaign coverage—to cover the 2013 election by talking to its ultimate experts, the voters. So we picked a place in each borough where people live , work and/or play: a deli in Manhattan, a bar in Staten Island, a restaurant in the Bronx, a residential block in Queens and a public housing development in Brooklyn.
Since February, we've talked long and often to people at those places about what they think about the candidates, the campaign and the city. While we've asked who people are voting for, we've concentrated more on talking about whether they were going to vote at all. After successive mayoral elections with dreadful turnout, a big question in the 2013 race is not who'll win, but whether the campaign will actually engage the voters for whom it's being run.
We've gathered our reporting to date in an e-book, which we are releasing in beta form today and will update as the campaign rolls toward its conclusion in November. Please download it, read it … and vote.
To download your copy:
1. Download Adobe Content Viewer from your iPad
2. Send your email to ”firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your free copy
3. After receiving confirmation sign in or create your Adobe DPS account
Just click here to download the pdf.