Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I hate that when it happens...

...the staff cuts/exodus at the AZ Republic are really impacting the professional quality at the paper, and that impact isn't a positive one.

Earlier today, I wrote a post stemming from an AZ Republic article about the effects of polling place locations on voter behavior. The Rep article was itself rooted in the publication of the study in another publication (The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

It was an interesting, if dry, insight into some of the more mundane operational aspects of elections themselves, as opposed to the campaign and candidate aspects that most folks (including activists!) think of when they think of elections.

Too bad the Rep didn't at least note that they had published another article on the same study, written by Robbie Sherwood, former reporter and current District Director for Congressman Harry Mitchell. .

In 2006.

There's no reason to criticize Anne Ryman, the reporter who wrote Tuesday's article. Presumably, she was just fulfilling an assignment from an editor.

The editor who gave her that assignment should be given a refresher course in "how to research your own archives to make sure you don't repeat yourselves."

Or at least a course on using Google. :))

One good result was that I contacted two of the authors of the study, Marc Niederehe Meredith of Stanford and Dr. Jonah Berger of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Turns out that Meredith is working on another project that is looking into some of the effects of vote-by-mail upon campaigns and elections. A rough draft of the report should be available later this summer, and it should be very interesting.


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