Please forgive this inside-baseball look at newspapering, the business. But there is a point. Your subscription isn't for nothing, Gentle Reader.
We have completed several Zoom meetings with candidates over the weeks, and have endorsed several already in this column. But nothing--nothing--we can do compares to the time, effort and space that has been given by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newsroom to the race for Little Rock's new school board.
Cynthia Howell and her editors have dedicated pages and pages (not just columns and columns) of information relating to the several zones that will elect the new board. Impressive candidates litter the field. And not just the ones we endorsed. Dr. Kieng Vang-Dings and Ali Noland come immediately to mind. We get the feeling that voters will have a chance to vote for candidates in these races, instead of just against. That's a welcome change.
But these kinds of in-depth, detailed, researched stories--about events that aren't necessarily murder trials or car wrecks--are becoming more rare these days, especially in newspapers in America. Take a drive around the Gulf Coast and pick up some papers in Louisiana or Mississippi. You'll find that they aren't doing much more than what the local TV stations do. That is, they mostly report the easy stuff, the salacious stuff, and run national wire copy to fill space.
It has been years since we remember seeing as much effort dedicated by a newsroom to one election. (Of course, the newsroom of this paper doesn't ask for our opinion, since we are separate operations.)
Maybe this is tooting our own horn. But it doesn't make our point wrong.
You get what you pay for. Even in newspapers. Sometimes, such as this election season, you might even get more.