Re: Voters face daunting task (Our View, Nov. 14)
I concur that voter turn out in the past has been dismal. And while we can agree a key reason for the lack of civic engagement is because the list of candidates is “daunting,” you, as in the media, have done little to educate and inform the electorate regarding city politics.
With the exception of Focus Magazine, most local news organizations, both public and private, need to hang your collective heads in shame for not properly covering key municipal issues such as:
• Municipal infrastructure,
• Mental health, addiction and homelessness,
• City budgets and expenditures,
• Rising commercial vacancy rate.
Journalism requires commitment to research, investigation, and fact checking. This does not include regurgitating press releases and grabbing nonsense from the internet.
News agencies could play a key role in stimulating political discourse by committing resources to actual real life reportyers dedicated to covering the municipal beat.
You may be old enough to remember when “above the fold” was the exclusive domain of the imperative.
Elections should be the product of political engagement and discourse. Casting a ballot every three, now to be four years, is only a small part of civic involvement.
The media has a very important role to play in fostering and cultivating participatory government.
It is my desperate but failing hope that organizations like yours will someday realize this and start replacing pretty pictures with content.
For now I dare not hold my breath.
Paul Van den Brink, Victoria