| Media |

More Messages: There's Got to Be a Morning After

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Yesterday's election debacle in the Denver metro area was a story custom-made for television -- yet somehow, at least a couple of local stations failed to adequately report it. Based on what I was able to catch between watching national matters on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, TV types in these parts stuck so rigidly to their plans that they gave unexpected developments short shrift.

They certainly didn't lack the personnel to offer more balance. The outlets made sure all their talent was on deck -- particularly channels 4 and 9, which had arranged to offer wall-to-wall updates and analysis on channels 12 and 20, respectively, beginning at 7 p.m. By then, it was abundantly clear that breakdowns at voting centers and polling stations in Denver and beyond constituted big news, and because of these problems, tallies would be arriving much later than previously anticipated. Nevertheless, correspondents with 4 and 9 generally stayed at election celebrations, where they filled the hours it took for meaningful results to trickle in with redundant interviews starring party hacks, who mainly delivered the same boilerplate rhetoric we've all grown to hate in recent weeks. That left the main coverage of the systemic collapse to helicopter jockeys, who essentially treated the lengthy lines like accidents. Which they were, to a large degree -- but there was much more to them than that.

A significant exception to this rule was Channel 7, whose Mitch Jelniker (pictured) stayed at a troubled Douglas County voting site for hour upon hour. The footage of devoted citizens whiling away a significant chunk of their lives waiting for their turn at the ballot helped put everything else that happened yesterday in context. In this case, being flexible allowed the station to personalize the chaos, instead of merely flying over it. -- Michael Roberts

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.