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Northeaster Current News
Newspaper’s political coverage needs more depth
Written by Timothy Frankland, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted  10/6/2010
After the dismal turnout in the August primaries, your staff published an editorial (Northeaster, Aug. 25) deploring how many people chose not to vote. Among the many questions that were asked, perhaps the most insightful was what the Northeaster could do to encourage more citizens to cast their votes.

As one of the minority who actually did vote in the primary, I was quite intrigued to see what sort of political coverage would result. It was thus with quiet amazement that I read your small article in the Sept. 8 issue concerning the four candidates running for the two at-large seats on the Minneapolis Public School Board. This brief article described the four different candidates as "all reasonably well-prepared and/or good at thinking on their feet" and that all have had "some degree of experience as staff or volunteers in education."

Is this information meant to help potential voters discern the differences among the candidates? An article that covers a public forum but then only publishes "the shortest question of the night" is truly not beneficial to potential voters. If anything, your article seems to indicate that it does not matter who wins because all of the candidates seem equally qualified.

If the Northeaster sincerely wants to motivate people to go to their precinct polling places on Nov. 2, it must provide those potential voters with useful and meaningful information about the candidates, their backgrounds, and their plans. The Northeaster can and must provide substantive political coverage relevant to the needs and desires of Northeast residents if it truly wants those residents to vote. With only a few issues of your newspaper still to be published before the November election, let us all hope that you will fulfill the mission your earlier editorial so clearly advocated.

Timothy Frankland
Northeast Minneapolis

Editor’s Note: See the Oct. 20 Northeaster for coverage of local political races.

Northeaster Opinion