Alan Riquelmy: More than a newspaper | TheUnion.com
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Alan Riquelmy: More than a newspaper

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

The two reporters sat hunched over a cell phone, watching the election returns roll in.

They worked for a small paper near my own, doing the same work I did. We were far enough apart that competition wasn’t an issue most of the time. I just happened to be in their town on election night 2012, covering a race of interest to my readers.

For many reporters, election night is full of long gaps with little to do interspersed with frantic periods of adrenaline-fueled madcap typing as you desperately try to break news before the other guy.



During the lulls the two reporters kept checking presidential election returns on The New York Times. Those returns focused in on individual counties as the results were released. Zoom out and see the results by state. The amount of information was staggering. No surprise those reporters were glued to the phone.

The days of waiting for next day’s print newspaper for finding out who’s won a political race are over.

“This is great,” one of them said. “Of course, we’re print, so we don’t have to worry about doing this.”



Irony, meet unemployment line.

The attitude was one that should have died years ago, even then. A reporter who thinks they’re print only isn’t going to be a reporter for long. The fact they didn’t seem to realize it was stunning, seeing as how they couldn’t keep their eyes away from a mobile device providing them seemingly instantaneous election results.

The presidential race is always the big ticket item that most folks want to know about. But it’s hardly ever the only race. You likely have a statewide contest you’re watching, or someone in the Legislature you’re rooting for. A local tax measure or City Council candidate can draw your interest.

Or even a small, local election in a small Georgia town eight years go.

At The Union, we’re already planning our coverage for the Nov. 3 election. We’ll have a series of stories about the candidates in print leading up to the elections office mailing ballots to all registered voters.

These stories will examine the state Assembly and Senate races for our area, as well as the District 1 and 4 congressional races.

But we’re also going to take a deeper dive into local races. The Grass Valley Council has five candidates running for three spots. The Nevada City Council, which already had one election in March, has three candidates vying for one seat.

And there’s plenty of races down ballot that might draw your attention as well. Two seats are up for grabs on the Nevada Irrigation District. The Tahoe Truckee Airport District has five people running for three seats.

And, of course, there’s the race for president of the United States.

The days of waiting for next day’s print newspaper for finding out who’s won a political race are over. Even a couple of reporters with blinders on should know that. People want their news where they already go, whether that’s Twitter or Facebook, media websites on your laptop or phone, the radio or television.

Like many people, you probably check a variety of sources on election night for your news. You’ve got the races you care about, and want updates as quickly as possible.

That’s why we’ll be updating our Facebook and Twitter pages on Nov. 3. Our website will feature regular updates about the races you’re watching. We’ll be in the online spaces you already regularly frequent, giving you the information you want in the medium you choose.

Because, despite what you might hear, The Union is more than a print publication.

Contact City Editor Alan Riquelmy at ariquelmy@theunion.com or 530-477-4239.


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