Editor’s note: The monthly milestone column, which appears on the second day of each month – the anniversary of The Ann Arbor Chronicle’s launch – is an opportunity for either the publisher or the editor of The Chronicle to touch base with readers on topics related to this publication. It’s also a time that we highlight, with gratitude, our local advertisers, and ask readers to consider making a voluntary subscription to support our work.
It’s election day, so I’ll start this monthly milestone – our 26th, for those keeping score – by badgering you to tell your family, friends and neighbors to go vote. (As a Chronicle reader, you will need no reminder yourself, of course.)
Frankly, I’ll be glad to bid farewell to Election 2010. Regular Chronicle readers know that while we’re huge fans of good governance and the democratic process, our patience is pretty thin for typical horse-race coverage of elections – complete with endorsements and accusations trotted forth by candidates, which mainstream media then use to whip themselves into a breathless, panting herd.
I’ll also be glad to have elections behind us because the month leading up to Nov. 2 has been especially taxing for The Chronicle – in good ways. But I’m looking forward to a return to our baseline level of overwork. One reason for the extra effort relates to preparation for the first candidate forum ever hosted by The Chronicle. Held on Oct. 21 at Wines Elementary for Ward 5 city council candidates, the event took a nontraditional approach. Chronicle editor Dave Askins described our thinking behind the forum’s task-based format in a recent column. You can read about the forum itself in a separate report. And if you want to review The Chronicle’s election coverage, you can find a list of election-related articles here.
Another reason that the month was busier than usual relates to an out-of-state trip I made to The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was a visiting faculty member there at a workshop for nontraditional journalists. In this month’s column, I’d like to focus on the Poynter visit, with some observations about The Chronicle’s work, plus a national perspective based on remarks by George Packer of The New Yorker, who also spoke at Poynter.