Monday, February 4, 2008

Interactive Democracy from a Newspaper, No Way!

As a relatively recent resident here in Chi-town, I'm frustrated by the amount I don't know about local politics. That's where the Chicago Tribune comes in to enlighten my civic duty.

Atop it's home page, the Tribune provides a nifty Voter Guide where I can find out who I'm voting for, their Web pages, and some information.

All I have to do in punch in my address and off to the democracy train! Basically the info provided on candidates is little more than sound bites...and for some candidates, the only supplemental information is who the tribune endorsed...

Newspapers, for better or worse, have always played a role in elections, sometimes vital and informative, sometimes propagandist. From the Revolution's print workshop to the 19th century party press, to yellow and watchdog journalism of the 20th.

Due to political parties' growing lack of resonance, the media has took on a new role as the filter for candidates, their reputations, their ideas. Where would we be without the horserace, Billary, Obama's snub?, Mitt's "conservatism," islamofascism, Brit Hume and Mickey Mouse?

For those of us in Chicago, check out the superfun live-action way to get your voting on. "Learn" from the Trib, print your choices off and take your guide to the polls Feb. 5. Just take the endorsements and information, or lack thereof, with a grain of salt.

For more info on voting, candidates, instructions, etc., check out the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners. Find out where to vote here or call (312) 269-7900.

P.S. I miss the Isthmus-published League of Women Voters guides in Madison.

16 comments:

Jb said...

May I recommend the Reader's local Chicago politics blog Clout City. It will blow your mind ...

And the Reader itself is, of course, a must-read too

B. Broeren said...

Thanks for the tip, JB from Oshkosh. I'm aware of the clout city blog and have enjoyed its content. And Chicago's alt-weeklies (The Chicago Reader, Chicago journal, and New City) are good reads.

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