Election 2002 Wrap-up

Toby Uecker

Toby Uecker

The election’s over … now what? That was the first question I asked of myself and of my reporters after the last words of text were thrown on the State & Local page last Wednesday morning.

The election served as an excellent jumping off point for this new page, but where do we go from here without the candidate profiles, campaign stops and political analysis that have helped consistently fill A5 with news for the campus readers?

It seems to me that there are any number of different directions to go with the coverage on the State & Local page. Hopefully the wide array of options left in the wake of an election that encompassed nearly every aspect of state and local news will provide a more diverse collection of stories for the newspaper reader to read, consider and discuss.

Before talking about leaving the election completely behind, though, it’s important to recognize that we’re not yet done seeing the direct effects of the election. If the previous crazy election cycle taught us anything, it’s that a 500 vote margin may not lead to a clear claim to elected office.

With this in mind, the State & Local page will keep tabs on any developments in the tight U.S. Senate race as well as on the transitions into office made by those elected with a more definitive margin of victory.

Readers can also expect A5 to give closer attention to the actions of the Students’ Association Senate. With several key SDSU proposals, including student union expansion, coming before the Board of Regents next month, the SA has a lot of important work on its agenda in the closing weeks of the semester.

Another level of government that deserves more mention is that of the Brookings City Council. Whether it’s another attempt at the controversial “Third B” or the adoption of a new liquor operating agreement, city government has a lot larger effect on college life than many students realize.

On a state level, the beginning of next semester will also bring the beginning of another legislative session, ripe with decisions that will affect the public universities and life in general in the state of South Dakota. Being a couple hundred miles from the scene of the action will mean a different type of story for Collegian readers.

This overall transition from “election mode” is going to mean not only a change in the news you find on the State & Local page, but also a change in how we reporters will be doing our jobs. With several high-profile races in the state, the past few months have meant little more than letting the news find us.

Without as many news stories and sources begging for an outlet, A5 reporters are going to have to put a little more time into finding the news that’s important for our readers to know.

So, don’t turn to A5 looking for complacent reporting. Expect reports that go beyond the obvious and explore the meaning and motivation of government decisions and political action.

The nature of a State & Local page still demands the basic coverage of meetings and government officials, but without these officials stepping so squarely into the spotlight, don’t expect simple reports of public appearances to dominate the page.

So, don’t be surprised if A5 takes on a different personality in the next few weeks. Keep reading, and see what you think.

Tell Toby what you think at [email protected].