Elections are always headache-inducing here in the editorial department of PGN. There is the stress of will the candidates respond to us, how many do we reasonably need to speak to, what do we want to know, do we conduct in-person, phone or written interviews? Do we need a picture?
Every election cycle, we go through the same process: Identify the candidates, develop a list of questions, find the candidates’ contact information, contact them, wait for a response, wait some more, call them back. After the interview, we have to determine how to present the information. Do we convert their answers to a narrative format or create a chart? Which is easier for the reader? Which is easier for us?
Then, as always, elections are held on a Tuesday; we go to production on Wednesday. When we come in on Wednesday morning (unless we stayed up late on Tuesday to get a jump on it), we have to quickly ascertain what happened in the races we care about. Who won, who lost, who is too close to call?
And then we have to determine if the results will still be news by the time the paper hits the streets on Friday. (Case in point: Arlen Specter’s loss to Joe Sestak in the U.S. Senate Democratic primary is going to be old news by the time you read this. It was almost old news by the time I was writing it.)
As a weekly LGBT newspaper, our priorities are different from those of a mainstream daily. In election news, we aren’t necessarily going to be the media source readers go to for the results.
Instead, we are here to analyze what the election results mean for this community, provide information on community and political leaders’ strategies for advancing equal rights and report on what our friends and enemies are doing.
While this election cycle wasn’t as heartbreaking, bittersweet, exciting or historical as those in years past, it was still an important day for the community.
For the local LGBT community, strong and tepid allies won locally, statewide and in Congress; our next challenge will be to flex our muscle in the November general election. We’ll need to see who really is committed to our issues and get out the gay vote.
I’ll have the aspirin ready.