The Media

Independent Record Fumbles Election Coverage

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I happened to stumble across a story on the Independent Record’s page this evening, a story that made a very surprising claim. According to the piece,

The number of people who voted in the 2012 election in Lewis and Clark County was more than double that of 2008, according to elections supervisor Marilyn Bracken.

The story goes on to say that just over 33,000 ballots were cast in 2012 and that only 15,600 were cast in 2008.

That would certainly be surprising news to the Obama and McCain campaigns, given that over 33,000 ballots were cast for President in Lewis in Clark County in 2008.

It’s probably not a terribly surprising mistake from a news agency that claimed 105% of precincts had reported results for much of election night and who claimed, before most of the ballots that Lewis and Clark County had a 40% turnout:

With 53 of 56 precincts reporting, 16,994 out of 41,683 registered voters cast ballots in this election for 40.77 percent turnout in Lewis and Clark County.

These are the kinds of mistakes an editor notices. These are the kinds of mistakes new agencies with institutional memory don’t make. Perhaps if the publisher of the newspaper were less interested in promoting his personal political agenda and more interested in putting out a quality news product, we’d see fewer of these mistakes.

That post to come. 🙂

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • The election “coverage” by the IR was the last straw. Their “news” was 12-15 hours behind everyone else and was nothing more than a rehash of the AP. This “newspaper” continues to be a local embarrassment. I wish it would just die quickly. Whatever replaces it can only be an improvement.

  • The only salvation on the horizon for the IR and the other Lee Enterprises papers is the prospect that Warren Buffett will continue his stock purchases and take control from the morally (and financially) bankrupt Lee management.
    Corporate officers like those at Lee who have destroyed shareholders’ investments and cast off life-time employees while awarding themselves six-figure bonuses need to be gone.

  • Yeah, I saw a few of these come over their accounts and could just shake my head. It’s pretty pathetic. Regrettable but understandable if it happens at the Kaimin or from a high school paper. But coming from a publication that charges? No thanks.

    • Their most pathetic action to date has been to charge for their online content using the New York Times to rationalize this decision.

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