November 5, 2018

What to follow; newsrooms planning; journalism while brown

After a staggeringly popular early vote, newsrooms will be keeping an eye on turnout and reports of irregularities on Tuesday. They also will be using a new AP projection system and offering midterm election shows.

More votes already have been cast in Georgia, an epicenter of election-suppression complaints, than in the entire 2014 vote.

Apart from who will control the House and Senate, and the Trump footprint on everything, here are a few big stories worth localizing:

THE YOUTH VOTE: The Hill's Reid Wilson said Saturday that the number of 18- to 29-year-old voters was spiking as of last last week, compared to the overall 2014 early vote — up 767 percent in Tennessee, 448 percent in Texas, 415 percent in Georgia, 364 percent in Nevada, 217 percent in Arizona. Readers in long lines in Texas, Indiana and Florida reported cheers rang out each time a first-time voter got to the head of the line. "Yep, they clapped for my nephew, too," Maggie Chavarria of Florida tweeted Sunday. "He turned 18 in September." One early-voting line in LA's Culver City stretched for two hours Sunday afternoon. 


YEAR OF THE WOMAN?: Women swamped men in the early vote in many states, with 10 percentage-point margins in Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio; 9-point margins in Florida and Tennessee, and an 8-point margin in Texas, according to Reid Wilson. In those states, women are voting at a 1 percent to 3 percent higher count than the 53.6 percent of the vote nationally in 2014. That early vote may be crucial in the Southeast if heavy storms keep some same-day voters away.


COMPLAINTS OF ELECTION INTERFERENCE: ProPublica's Electionland project is one of several media efforts to monitor and to collect reports on voting problems. Here's text, Whatsapp, FB Messager systems and more from the project.


MISINFORMATION: BuzzFeed's Craig Silverman and Jane Lytvynenko will be on hand to debunk information in BuzzFeed's live Election Night midterm show (here on Twitter), hosted by David Mack, Katherine Miller and Brandon Finnigan. It will include reporting from the field and commentary from Ben Smith and Kate Nocera. Also: BuzzFeed's "Election Day Emoji Q&A," where respondents reply to questions with various emoji.


THE LATINO VOTE: For the first time in 35 years, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists will produce a live virtual event, showcasing voters nationwide here from 7 a.m. Tuesday on, the journalism group announced Monday. Latinos make up 12 percent of the electorate, and 4 of 10 Latinos have experienced offensive incidents during the Trump administration because of their background, according to Alfredo Corchado of the Dallas Morning News.


Keeping current

— The eight races to watch to determine if Tuesday will bring a "blue wave." (Axios)

— How Trump uncorked bigotry, and he has no plans to put it back in the bottle. (Washington Post)

— Has the election already been hacked? Yes, argues Zeynep Tufecki, because many of us think it has. (The New York Times)

— Stop the music: Rihanna says she'll try to get Trump to stop using her "Don't Stop The Music" at his rallies. She tweeted a reply to the Washington Post's Phil Rucker, who noted the song at a Trump rally on Sunday. 

The undercard 

Some strange candidates may be elected Tuesday. At least one is under indictment. Keep an eye on:

— GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who endorsed a white supremacist in Toronto, spoke to neo-Nazis in Austria and was branded a "white supremacist" by his own party leadership. He's been deserted by companies such as Purina and is in the fight of his life in a solid-red district against centrist J.D. Scholten, a former baseball player, who says Iowans have tired of King's globe-trotting fascist flirtations. 

— Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, in a race the Newark Star-Ledger called "the most depressing choice for New Jersey voters in a generation." The paper added: "Before he was caught in 2015, Sen. Robert Menendez broke Senate rules by routinely accepting expensive gifts, including private jets to luxury resorts abroad. He kept those gifts secret, breaking another rule. He then used his office to promote the personal and business interests of the man who paid the bills." Yet the paper urged voters to "choke it down," endorsing Menendez over Bob Hugin, who amassed a fortune by keeping Americans from getting less expensive generic drugs. Hugin's company also paid out $250 million to settle charges that it had defrauded the federal government.

— New York's Rep. Chris Collins, under federal indictment in connection with insider trading and lying to investigators, at first suspended his campaign, then decided to keep running for re-election. Republican officials, shamed at the array of crimes in which Collins is charged, spent weeks trying to get him off the ballot. The district is solidly Republican, so he may win, even if he has to step down to go to prison.

— North Carolina GOP congressional candidate Mark Harris, a Baptist minister who has said Jews must convert to Christianity if they want peace in the Holy Land. Harris, for the same reason, says all Muslims must convert to Christianity, too. Harris is in an competitive race.

— Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner, who has threatened to bash in the head of Democratic Governor Tom Wolf with his golf spikes. Wolf has been considered the favorite.

Quick hits

REACHING READERS WHERE THEY ARE: That’s why a local news site in Brooklyn is starting a newspaper. You read that right. Publisher Liena Zagare also offers tips for those unaccustomed to this type of product, answering questions like: “What do I do with this thing when I’m done with it?” (h/t Joseph Lichterman)

QUOTE: “What I’ve learned from organizations that work most effectively is very clear communication; clear guidance about where the organization or the department is going. Share information, give clear direction.” — Vivian Schiller, CEO of Civil Foundation, to Poynter’s Barbara Allen.

JOURNALISM WHILE BROWN: Why did Sunny Dhillon walk away from The Globe and Mail? He wondered about racial bias in the newsroom with this Poynter piece; he crystallized his thinking in an assignment that switched from a race to a gender angle at the last minute, without his input.

SHUT UP AND DRIBBLE: Jemele Hill anchors Showtime’s three-hour documentary look at how the NBA has been able to be a mirror on contemporary society, unlike the conformist, conservative NFL. Hill tells the L.A. Times’ Chris Barton that it always wasn’t that way — and she wonders how tolerant NBA leadership would be today if its best player, LeBron James (who produced the doc), wasn’t so outspoken. The title comes from Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, who infamously tried to shush James, telling him to “shut up and dribble.”

$10 MILLION: That's what the University of North Carolina got in a grant to build a state-of-the-art facility and offer immersive experiences for its School of Media and Journalism students. The gift comes from the Curtis Foundation. Don Curtis, an alum, is CEO of the Curtis Media Group, which owns 62 radio signals across the state and operates the North Carolina News Network.

MOVES: Fernando Díaz is returning to Chicago, leaving as ME-Digital of the San Francisco Chronicle to become editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter (h/t Veronica Villafañe) … AP’s Ken Thomas is leaving the news service to cover 2020 and the Democrats for The Wall Street Journal … The Atlantic has named Don Peck and Denise Wills as top editor and deputy editor of the magazine. Scott Stoessel will move to national editor and resume writing.

FOUR NEW COLUMNISTS: The Guardian hired Moira Donegan on feminism, politics, society and culture; David Sirota on politics and corporate America; Rebecca Solnit on politics, gender and society; and Bhaskar Sunkara on U.S. politics and culture.

Also on Poynter:

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Have a good Monday. See you Tuesday.

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