A little over two months ago, the Clinton Herald began working alongside its parent company, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., in a nationwide effort to learn what readers think about the direction being taken by our president and Congress.
Titled “The Pulse of the Voters,” the project — the first installment of which is to be published in Saturday’s Clinton Herald — aims to capture the pulse of local voters in their homes, communities and workplaces.
The goal is to drill down to find out how what’s happening with Congress and the president is affecting residents, their families and the places where they live and work. To get there, Clinton Herald reporter Jacqueline Covey reached out through Facebook, followed up with telephone calls and responded to those who answered our requests for local voters to share with us their beliefs about today’s political climate and the issues that are most important to them.
The interviews were done as we planned, for the most part in readers’ workplaces, local diners and living rooms. Next, her local stories were sent to the regional desk to be packaged with interviews completed by reporters at our sister newspapers across the country.
CNHI newspapers are mostly in medium-size markets and many smaller markets where there are weekly papers. Many of the newspapers are based in Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia as well as East Coast locations like Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Along with the Clinton Herald, CNHI has Midwest papers in Ohio, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois and southeast Iowa.
The published reports will provide not only a good cross section of each community in terms of political leanings and other demographic factors but also a cross section of the country as a whole.
It also should be noted that “The Pulse of the Voters” is not a one-and-done project. The plan calls for a package of stories every quarter until the 2020 presidential election. As such, readers at any time can get involved in this project by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the end, we think this will be a very enlightening project and that it will be a great service to readers and, more importantly, to our democracy.
Charlene Bielema is the editor of the Clinton Herald. Contact her at (563) 242-7101, Ext. 155, or email@example.com.