ELECTION 2014: How these stories were written

ELECTION 2014: How these stories were written

Michele Ellson
Election 2014

Visitors to the computer lab that supported my college journalism program were greeted by a wall-length sign (on dot-matrix paper, no less) that bore this bromide: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

It’s an ethos that has (mostly) guided my career as a journalist and one that I am leaning heavily on as I prepare the final stories in our initial wave of coverage: Profiles on candidates for mayor, City Council and the Board of Education.

Our goal is to provide you the very best information we can about candidates for these very important local races – and to avoid some of the misses (and missed opportunities) we’ve had on prior races and board appointment processes. So far your candidates have gamely submitted to questionnaires, videos and candidate forums that have been released and conducted over the last few weeks.

Our research for the candidate pieces we’ll be posting over the course of the next eight days includes background checks on all the candidates to look for any red flags, and a review of criminal and civil records at the Alameda County courthouse. I’m also examining years’ worth of City Council and school board minutes so that I can offer a clear picture of candidates’ records – something we local media folk were criticized (fairly) for not providing in 2012. Where the record is unclear, I'll also be taking a look at archived news stories and video to seek a better understanding of how your candidates who have served on elected bodies voted on important issues, and why.

Our mission is to promote civic engagement by providing nonpartisan, high quality news coverage, and there’s probably nothing more central to carrying out that mission than ensuring you know what you need to know about your candidates for office. You can check out all of our election coverage on The Alamedan’s Election 2014 page.

We’re always happy to hear your suggestions for how we can serve you better and in doing so, carry out our mission more effectively; e-mail me at michele@thealamedan.org

Comments

Submitted by Tim Coffey (not verified) on Wed, Sep 24, 2014

Thank you for all your hard work, Michele. Transparency and accountability of elected officials is critical for local level democracy.