Sunday’s editorial offers what we hope is a useful reminder of one of the assumptions behind the news each day:
One of the most important tasks we undertake as journalists is putting the news in context for our readers. Numbers or events in a vacuum mean very little. That’s why, for instance, our reporters always try to compare the latest housing sales or jobless numbers to the statistics from last month and last year. A comparison to previous periods helps indicate whether the situation is improving or worsening and aids us in determining how our position compares with past history. We try to do the same with almost everything we report, whether it’s voter turnout, college tuition or local murder rates.
Saturday’s guest editorial comes via the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News:
Elections have consequences – some of them unintended. How many voters realized that Republican victories in 2010 would mean the disenfranchisement of potentially millions of voters?
Since then, state lawmakers nationwide have introduced more than 180 bills to restrict voting rights, a trend that began during the George W. Bush administration. At least 18 states have passed laws that include requiring photo identification to vote, ending election-day registration and reducing access to early and absentee voting.