What is Down-home Democracy? This workshop was designed to encourage journalists from small community newspapers (circulation of 50,000 or less) in Missouri and surrounding states to embrace elections as critically important news events and to give them the practical tools and strategies they need to cover campaigns thoroughly and constructively.
Location: All sessions took place at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Mo.
Why is local election coverage important? Helping voters make informed decisions in municipal elections is one of the most important jobs a community newspaper can do when it comes to contributing to the local democracy. Elections for city and town councils, boards of aldermen, county commissions, school boards and local ballot issues typically have more influence on readers’ quality of life than elections at the state and federal levels. Yet, too often, newspapers lack the insight it takes to truly cover municipal elections well, or they fail to invest adequate resources toward reporting on local campaigns.