Wednesday, April 24, 2024

AR-Land Comm: Baxter Bulletin Reports On Race … Sorta

If you were a newspaper writer in Marion County who was writing an article on the outcomes of county- and state-wide races in Tuesday’s primary, it is not impossible to think that you might tailor your message slightly to appeal to Marion County readers moreso than those outside the county.  That would make sense, really, given that you have a relatively small circulation outside the county because people outside Marion County don’t often care too much about Marion-ish activities.

Even if you were honing your message for that specific audience, however, one would hope that you would paint a clear picture of those results. Otherwise, your article might turn out looking something like this:

Native son Monty Davenport won Marion County in the state Democratic race for land commissioner, although late Tuesday night L.J. Bryant had a slight lead and Mike Berg was in third place.


Davenport, who was unable to seek re-election to the state House of Representatives because of term limits, carried his home county in the land commissioner race with 1,012 votes. Bryant trailed far behind with 268 votes, while Berg had 250.


Runoffs appeared likely in the Senate and House races.

Call me crazy, but I think it might benefit even the most Marion-centric reader to know whether a race is going to a run-off.  It would certainly be more informative than giving the raw vote total for Marion county, casually mentioning that someone else was actually leading the overall race, and then saying nothing else that would clarify the actual results.

But, hey, when you are the hometown paper of a guy who spent the last week before the primary boasting about how large his margin of victory was going to be, I guess reality can be difficult to write about.

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