How the other papers are doing

I suppose it’s unfair to crime the Chron for its lame-o Election Central section, which has a now-empty primaries section but no index of endorsements or other useful goodies, without comparing it to the other papers. So I took a look, with a particular eye on those items. The good news is that the Chron really isn’t all that bad, all things considered. The bad news is that’s damning them with faint praise.

The Morning News was the only one I found with an endorsement index. Maybe the other papers have been as laggard at making recommendations as the Chron has so far, I don’t know. Their Election Index page keeps stories around for a few days, and is fairly well organized. They’ve got a Swing State feature that’s okay. Overall, a solid if not terribly exciting effort.

The Statesman has a decent Elections index, with a few interesting links. I didn’t realize they had a page of blogs and news links, though I have to say, their blog selection is kinda limp. They have a section for “Regional Political Blogs”, but none of them are from Texas. Heck, they don’t even link to their own Lasso from there. Oh, and they have an old URL (and a misspelled name) for Big Media Matt.

The Express News is fairly pedestrian. They tend to file state and regional political stories in their Texas section, though there’s also a separate Politics section with national and some state/regional stories. Not much to see here, so let’s move along.

The Star Telegram also has a pretty decent Elections index, with links to blogs you’re probably not familiar with. They’ve also done a good job of covering the races on interest, including the Geren-Popp State House race and the Granger-Alavarado Congressional race. Neither of these is a high profile race, and neither of the stories is particularly meaty, but just the fact that they’ve mentioned them puts them ahead of the Chron and its missing local race coverage.

So, I’d say the Morning News is the best, the Chron and the Express News are the worst, and the other two are in between. I think the overall picture is sadly underwhelming, and a creative editor would have lots of room for improvement. Maybe in 2006.

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