Minnesota media outlets failed citizens

The recount shows that all gubernatorial candidates deserve equal coverage.

Dan Dittmann

Unless you have avoided contact with any form of media for the past month, you are aware Minnesota is proceeding with its second statewide recount in two years. To many, this fact clearly indicates there is a problem with elections in Minnesota.

The Secretary of StateâÄôs office reports that about 2.1 million Minnesotans voted this year. While voter participation, according to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, was “high,” the participation rate was only estimated at 56 percent of the eligible population.

Despite the abundance of attention paid to the Democratic, Republican and Independence candidates, it was largely forgotten all three share similar opinions supporting public financing of a new Vikings stadium. According to a Star Tribune poll published in October, 75 percent of Minnesotans do not support public financing for a stadium.

Perhaps the media played a role. Seven candidates were listed on the ballot for governor, yet nearly all reporting and a majority of “voter guides,” including the one produced by the Minnesota Daily, omitted any mention of other candidates.

Despite having the vantage point as a candidate for lieutenant governor, I sympathize with the hundreds of thousands who did not vote this year âÄî as well as those who did not vote for our Green Party campaign. Rather than report all sides, media outlets focused news coverage on those candidates who were most likely to send advertising dollars their way rather than candidates who can best resolve our problems.

 

Dan Dittmann, an employee at the University, was on the 2010 Green Party ticket for lieutenant governor. Please send comments to [email protected].