Andrea Rondeau column: Planning election coverage

Andrea Rondeau column: Planning election coverage

Writing individual profiles on each of the candidates nearly killed us

We’re going to be doing something a little bit different in our coverage of the run-up to the municipal elections this year.

It all goes back to our last municipal vote, where the newsroom was flooded with almost 100 candidates between the three municipalities we cover, the Cowichan Valley Regional District and the school district.

Writing individual profiles on each of the candidates nearly killed us, and especially towards the end, trying to cram them all in for print was a bit of a nightmare.

But we still feel it’s important for us to let you, the readers and voters, know who’s standing for election, and what their goals and plans are should they be successful. We want to help you put faces and platforms with the names so that when you go to the polls, as we always encourage everyone to do, you’re not just randomly ticking off names with no real idea of who they are.

So here’s the plan we’ve come up with for the Citizen’s coverage of this year’s elections.

First, we will write and print profiles on all candidates running for mayor of the City of Duncan, Municipality of North Cowichan and the Town of Lake Cowichan.

Second, all other candidates for council positions, school board and CVRD board will be asked to submit or come in for a photo, and submit approximately 300 words describing who they are, what their background is, and their three top issues. If candidates have individual websites, we ask them to provide links for us to use. Please send us a video, too, approximately one minute in length talking about an issue or two of your choice (please remember to shoot horizontally). These submissions will be posted online, easily found under the new “Election” tab that’s already in place on our website (www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com). We will run the names in print each week (should there be any) of those who have declared their candidacy and which council or board they’re seeking election to, and direct people to find out more about them online.

Third, we will address hot individual issues as they arise and cover all-candidates meetings.

Finally, just before the elections we will print a summary election guide with all of the candidates, as we normally do for all elections. People can pull this out of the paper and take it with them to the polls to keep track of who they’d like to vote for, or to help them decide.

In this way we can keep you up-to-date on who’s running and what they stand for. Stay tuned.