Local Group Begins Monitoring Local Election Coverage

Following up on its Election Watch 2004 monitoring, the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID) has launched its Election Watch 2006 campaign to monitor the local broadcast and print media’s coverage of the 2006 elections. Election Watch 2006 features analysis placed side-by-side with the text of the stories to aid readers in understanding how stories are often inadequately written. Already the group has analyzed two stories appearing in the Grand Rapids Press—one on Debbie Stabenow’s campaign finances that ignored contributions from Political Action Committees (PACs) and one on Republican Jim Koetje’s announcement that he will run for the Michigan Senate that completely ignored his voting record and instead focused on a 2002 dispute about whether or not he move in order to run in a re-districted race. In addition to the analysis of news coverage, GRIID will also publish critiques of paid political advertisements and provides resources to aid readers in reading election stories in newspapers and watching them on television.

Readers are encouraged to contact the local media to encourage them to improve their election coverage—election coverage that has a history of being inadequate.