Jan 4, 2016
Politics, Morning Call Style
Early last week, The Morning Call ran an article about Julie Harhart retiring, and mentioned four contenders for the seat, including myself. Later in the week, they published, online, Steve Esack's blog, in which he mentioned only one of the Republican contenders, and a different Democrat. So, two articles from the same paper, with different information. I was going to email Esack, their Harrisburg correspondent, about the discrepancy, but assumed the paper would work it out. I must also assume that the reporters read each other's articles. On Sunday, the paper reprinted Esack's choices, in two spots in the front section, again omitting three contenders, including myself.
I must confess that Sunday's edition gives me some pause about pursuing this election under the Republican banner. The Republican candidate mentioned is the party's anointed one. The first article was on the inside of the front page, in the POLITICS AS USUAL section. The second mention was in the TOP STORIES section, where they usually condense articles printed earlier in the week. In this case, they omitted three previously mentioned candidates, but added another. While it's difficult enough to compete with an anointed candidate, equal space in the press is essential, especially in the Lehigh Valley. Sunday is the paper's largest circulation, in essentially, a one paper market.
Also on Sunday, Bill White's column dealt with what voters must do to end politics as usual in Harrisburg. I have no issue with White's column per se, but he might also want to involve himself with what the paper itself should do. They should guard against articles that promote one candidate over others. They should strive to assure that each candidate for elected office receive a fair amount of coverage. They too, like the voters, have a responsibility.