The old saying is that time and space are a reporter’s cruelest editors, and while the Internet and 24-hour cable channels have eased those restrictions somewhat, they haven’t changed the fact that readers and viewers only have so much time in a day.
So how do you use that short segment of time you manage to get people to devote to educating themselves before voters? Do you address in some depth and detail the ideas of the people most likely to win–those from the two parties in which most New York voters are registered? Or do you try to be more inclusive, bringing in third party candidates, even if that means less focus on each individual hopeful?
That’s the real challenge facing editors in an election year. Not every journalist worries about it, but more think about it than you might assume. The answers aren’t easy. It can be, and often is, a zero-sum game. While there’s no denying that all election coverage could be smarter and deeper, it’s less certain that there is an ideal approach to figuring out how you frame the choices facing voters.
The conversation Ben Max and I had with Larry Sharpe on Wednesday illustrates the case for being more inclusive. Sharpe brought energy and eloquence to the phone line. Many of his ideas warranted deeper debate and analysis than we had time for. But he certainly had ideas.
Listen below to the full show, or just to our talk with Sharpe or our conversation with Republican attorney general candidate Keith Wofford.
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