For transparency’s sake…

Mike Rose

…I thought I’d illustrate a little bit how we went about putting some election stories together, as a reader earlier said we used canned stories in regards to the presidential race. I can’t speak much to that story, as I wasn’t directly editing it, but I do know quotes from Rybak and McCollum came directly from the DFL celebration after Obama won, as we had a reporter on scene, Karlee Weinmann. I agree with the reader who praised the main writer’s journalism, as I too felt Keith did a great job. I dealt largely with the Senate and 6th District race…two of the closest of the night. And yes, we did have partial versions ready for each scenario (basically, a lead and them some background…quotes filled them in. However, both versions got scrapped for the Senate story last night!). However, I would not call this unethical in the least. In each scenario, there is no question what the story would be. For example, if Franken had outright won, the story would be about unseating an incumbent, reclaiming Wellstone’s seat, spending a lot of $$$ and making the transition from comedian to politician. A Tinklenberg victory would have come down to his late fundrasing surge, and of course, Bachmann’s comments, as it clearly hurt her in the polls. And, these “mock-ups” were by no means set in stone…they were just good ways for a reporter to build a story’s base and then concentrate on good reporting during the various election parties. I discussed these different scenarios with each reporter before they headed out for the evening. Had we not had anything written in advance, I don’t think you would have had a paper in front of you this morning. I don’t want to use this as a soapbox or a plug for the Daily, but I think your fellow students who worked on this last night did outstanding work. Mike Rose City editor