Editor's Notes

While editing one of our many election advance stories the other day, I caught a mistake on the date for this year’s election.

The unedited version had the date for Election Day as Nov. 3. I figured it was just a typo and immediately corrected it to Nov. 5.

Later, when I mentioned it to the reporter, he thanked me for catching it and then explained why he’d probably gotten it wrong.

“I’ve been reading so much about the 2020 election, (Election Day 2020 will be Nov. 3) that I think that date has just stuck in my head.”

He’s probably not alone. If all you did was get election news from national TV and most internet sites, you might very well think there is no election before Nov. 3, 2020.

Nevertheless, voters here and in thousands of communities nationwide will have the opportunity to go to the polls this Tuesday, Nov. 5, to vote in elections for county commissioners, city and town governments, school board members and more.

The Daily Item has been previewing these races for the past two weeks. All of those stories are easily available on our website in case you’ve missed them.

We have an additional package of stories focused on Tuesday’s elections starting on our front page today.

That’s just one more reason why local community journalism remains so important.

As low key (and poorly participated in) as local elections can be, the inarguable fact is that the people up for election this Tuesday are going to have a significant impact on our lives here in the Susquehanna Valley.

They’ll be deciding on our property and other taxes. They’ll be directing how our school districts are run. They’ll be making multiple quality of life decisions about parks and recreation; about roads and neighborhood blight; about public safety and health issues.

As such, we feel it’s extremely important to inform readers about who the candidates are and what they stand for on all the issues that matter.

Helping to inform the electorate has always been one of the most important jobs a community newspaper has. The Daily Item continues to take it very seriously.

We hope you will too and head to your polling place this Tuesday.

On the topic of community news organizations, I wanted to point out a study that was released last week from the Knight Foundation’s Trust, Media and Democracy initiative. The study, done in cooperation with Gallup, showed that Americans give local news organizations stronger ratings than national organizations across most trust dimensions, including relevancy and transparency.

According to that study, 6 in 10 Americans believe local news organizations are accomplishing most of the key tasks of informing communities. And local journalists are seen as more caring, trustworthy and neutral or unbiased than their national counterparts.

To be fair, the study also indicated that could be as much a reflection of skepticism toward national media than it is enthusiasm for local news organizations.

While we’d like those trust numbers to be even higher, we were encouraged to see that people at least seem to get the difference between news organizations like ours and national outlets.

I guarantee we will continue to work to earn that trust.

Email comments to dlyons@dailyitem.com.

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