The Fourth Estate noticeably absent on Congressional Race
December 13, 2013
December 13, 2013
You know what? Massachusetts has a new Congresswoman. Her name is Katherine Clark. I know this because I happen to live in the 5th Congressional District. So, I actually got to vote on Tuesday. She was sworn in on Thursday and took her first vote on the budget resolution that passed. She replaces Ed Markey, who is now our junior Senator.
The media was all too quick after the election to write about the “dismal turnout” – 13 percent to be exact. But the question that we should really ask is: where was the media between the primary election and the final? The answer is almost completely absent.
Yes, NECN deserves credit for having the only debate of the special election. But the rest of the media really shares some of the blame for the “dismal” turnout. Katherine Clark even told me that she sat for several profile interviews that never ran.
Come on. Really? Why did this happen? I admit I don’t have the answer. I even called The Boston Globe to urge them to write a story on the race. Did the media think because this was just a special election it didn’t rate any coverage? Did they think because Katherine Clark was so clearly out in front and ahead of her chief competition, Frank J. Addivinola that the results were a given?
Even if either of those were the case, it’s pretty unforgiveable that they gave the race such short shrift. After all, Katherine Clark becomes the third woman to join the Massachusetts Congressional delegation – the most ever.
The democratic process (small “d”) relies on an informed citizenry to participate in the process. But if the media doesn’t take its responsibility seriously to help do the informing, it’s a foregone conclusion that the turnout will be “dismal”.