Opinion: Election Central an example of how the Internet has changed newspapersIt’s a new world, and one that I have struggled to come to grips with. Turns out, the Internet is indeed a force in the newsgathering process. Back in, say, 1996 or so, I didn’t believe it would become a factor. I just didn’t see it.
By: Korrie Wenzel, editor, The Daily Republic
It’s a new world, and one that I have struggled to come to grips with.
Turns out, the Internet is indeed a force in the newsgathering process. Back in, say, 1996 or so, I didn’t believe it would become a factor. I just didn’t see it.
Now, in the days leading up to the election, even I find myself checking in on Election Central at mitchellrepublic.com, looking to gather up last-minute information about candidates and other issues, such as the myriad ballot measures that await voters Nov. 4.
At the risk of overbearing self-promotion (which this is), here’s what can be found today at Election Central:
- Candidate profiles for the following races: Davison County Commission, Davison County treasurer, District 20 state Senate, District 20 House of Representatives, U.S. House, U.S. Senate and president.
- An explanation of all of the initiatives and measures that will be on the ballot next month.
- Voter resources, such as registration and absentee voting information, sample ballots and legislative district maps.
- An archive of news stories, including coverage of the congressional and presidential races; coverage of the city, county and state legislative races; and coverage of the ballot issues.
- An archived video of the District 20 legislative debates that are being held this week at Mitchell Technical Institute. For those interested, simply click on a topic from the debate, and the few minutes of discussion revolving around that topic will play.
- Links to a list of Davison County polling places and a map of Mitchell precincts, districts and wards.
The House debate between Dave Mitchell, Lance Carson, Tony Sieler and Noel Hamiel already is loaded into Election Central, and the Senate debate between Mike Vehle and Jack Mortenson will be added after they meet tonight.
It’s all part of The Daily Republic’s effort to move its news coverage into the world that is the Internet. You’ll see a very big step the evening of Nov. 4, when we’ll have live updates as election returns pile in. That night, simply log on and follow the action as we receive it here in the newsroom.
It’s amazing to consider how far the newspaper business has come in just the past two decades.
When I got here in 1991, we still were developing print photographs in the darkroom each day. As a young sports editor, that meant spending at least an hour in the darkroom each evening, on deadline, as part of my regular duties.
The Associated Press sent its photos to us through a machine that spit out, throughout the day, each and every photo that was filed on the wire. They came out in piles, on a thin paper that was fed into the machine each day. Longtime sports reporter Dean Minder used to take the sports photos and hand them out at his day job, as a teacher at the middle school.
The first computer that received the Internet came to our newsroom sometime around 1998. We took turns using it if we needed to research information; since it was wired through the phone lines it, of course, was maddeningly slow.
Today, we receive nearly all of our information via the Internet, ranging from our daily selection of Associated Press stories and photos, or even the press releases that flood in.
I personally receive more than 100 e-mails throughout a typical day.
And whereas a decade ago, we had no method — or wish — to provide up-to-the-moment coverage on a breaking news night, we now can provide news any time we want.
Those who have signed up for our instant alerts especially know the process. These days, we not only can inform our readers through the print edition and our Internet site, but we can even send you breaking news via your cellular telephone.
The new reporters coming out of college these days shrug at all of the technology. It’s the only way they’ve ever known it.
I wasn’t around in the hot type days, but caught the tail end of print journalism’s old days. I can’t help but shake my head at the opportunities that newspapers now have.
Take a peek at our Election Central site. It’s off to the right of our home page at mitchellrepublic.com.
I’m still impressed — not just because it’s The Daily Republic, but because it’s just amazing to see how far reporting and newsgathering have come in such a short time.More from around the web