With three elections happening over the next three months, EDGE Online will offer two things sorely wanting on the Yellowknife media scene: context and analysis. In short, we’re going to bring you the best campaign coverage Yellowknife’s ever seen.
With an online platform and unlimited space, we’ve always wanted to go deeper than the day’s news and offer a bit more. A triple-header of elections is a great opportunity to do that, especially given how unique politics are in the North.
In Yellowknife, perhaps that’s because so many of us are employed by governmental institutions whose influence runs deep, or because we often have something of a personal relationship with candidates. Across the NWT, the lack of any credible polling data is another factor that makes reporting on elections a one-of-a-kind challenge.
Whatever it is, expect EDGE to offer more than the straight-up news reporting found elsewhere. When it’s called for, we’ll infuse our stories with opinion to show we’re paying attention and help connect dots candidates or spokespeople won’t. We’ll also have columns from writers like Chris Windeyer and Jack Danylchuk providing even greater context and analysis.
In the past, we’ve reported stories other outlets were hesitant to, such as Premier McLeod’s seeking an unprecedented second term in office. Expect more exclusives, at times provided by well-placed unnamed sources, as well as regular reporting on social media hits and misses.
For all three elections, we’ll pick an EDGE-approved slate of candidates. That means just before the vote, we’ll let you know who we think you should vote for, and why. That said, we aren’t selecting the slate based on any ideological leaning; more who the EDGE team feels will work hardest to best represent the riding or city’s interests.
For the municipal election, happening October 19, we’ll bring you interviews with candidates on issues facing the incoming council, as well as report cards of current councillors’ performance. Assuming there’s a challenger to Mayor Mark Heyck, we’ll also sit down with the mayoral candidates.
Also at the municipal level, IserveU is a made-in-Yellowknife e-democracy platform we’ll be following closely. At the soon-to-be-launched yk.iserveu.ca, voters can post comments and vote on the day’s issues. Some municipal candidates will run representing the platform, which means they’ll consider the forum’s input on every vote and, on more contentious issues, vote the way users of the site want them to.
In the interest of full disclosure, one of my business partners in Verge Communications Ltd., which publishes EDGE Online, Paige Saunders, is an important part of this initiative, while I provide communications advice on the project. I support IserveU because I support greater public engagement in government decision-making and politics in general, both of which I believe this project can help provide. Because of my personal involvement, in my role as Publisher of EDGE Online, I won’t make day-to-day editorial decisions about IserveU and expect our editorial treatment of the organization to continue to be as rigorous as the rest of our political coverage.
For both the municipal and territorial elections, we’ll bring you features on issues critical for the incoming governments to deal with. At the municipal level these include homelessness, downtown revitalization and economic development. At the territorial level, for example, we’ll look at how the GNWT has been handling (or mishandling) its strategies towards our struggling resource industry, at a crucial time when the world doesn’t seem that interested in our resources.
For the federal election, happening the same day in October, we’ll ignore the well-trodden trail of press releases. Instead, we’ll summarize each party’s promises during our Promised Land feature. We’ll also watch for things going off the rails, similar to some of the more bizarre happenings in the runup to selecting the NWT’s Liberal candidate.
For the territorial election, we’ll focus largely on Yellowknife ridings, but will scan the territory for hotly contested ridings, as well. Along with defining some of the NWT’s more pressing challenges, similar to our municipal coverage, we’ll offer feature stories and commentary.
This election cycle should be as interesting as it is important to the region’s future. Our small-but-talented team’s looking forward to bringing it to you on a daily basis.
Don’t miss any of EDGE Online’s election coverage while helping make high-quality local journalism possible. Subscribe to EDGEYK.com during our 50% off election sale. Just visit the sign up page and enter promo code election50 for a year’s worth of EDGE news, features and analysis for $29.70.