Welcome to API’s weekly election series, Plan for Local 2024. Kevin Loker, director of strategic partnerships and research, helps you take stock of your 2023 local election coverage — what worked well and what didn’t — to support your planning for 2024. We aim to help you take notes now to strengthen your engagement and audience work ahead of next November.
The American Press Institute and The Associated Press also want to support your coverage. Read about our collaboration, see the AP’s reporting tips each week in this series as you map out your engagement — and take this 4-minute survey to help us better support you.
Bring these questions to your election retrospective
This is it. Election Day is tomorrow, and it will occupy the attention of local and community-based newsrooms across the country.
It captures our attention at API, too. Last week we published lessons from The Tennessean’s community-centered election strategies, our latest article to help news organizations deliver on the news and information their communities need to make decisions and thrive. It adds to resources to help newsrooms navigate election coverage in our unique moment, and complements our direct support of newsrooms experimenting with how they inform their election coverage, our products to track source diversity and more.
In this series, we want to help journalists and media leaders take a step back. This is a month for intense coverage — and, after the dust settles, for interrogating that coverage. What worked well this year, what didn’t work, and how might we plan ahead for next year?
To get started, we’ve assembled a list of questions to aid your election coverage retrospective — download it here. Feel free to bookmark or print it now and come back to it when you meet. It’s designed to help you discuss not just everything around Election Day — what’s likely on your mind most now — but how you serve your community with relevant coverage before and after an election.
How are those relationships formed — and how do they continue long after results are final?
We want to hear from you
API and AP want to gather insights on local news organizations’ reporting needs and challenges. The survey results will inform programming and resources from both organizations in 2024. If you are a journalist or media leader who wants to share your needs, please take a few minutes to complete the survey.
Insights from The Associated Press: Navigating elections and misinformation
The 2024 election is just around the corner, and misinformation around voting and elections persists.
Expertise in voting procedures and trends is crucial to debunking online falsehoods and effectively covering elections. Here are some key points to be aware of when preparing for the 2024 election:
— Challenges are likely to arise: Elections rely on a large workforce of professionals assisted by a mix of full-time, part-time and temporary workers and masses of poll workers. Mistakes can happen. Understanding officials’ plans to address these issues can provide important context when problems occur.
— How people vote matters: Mail voting surged during the 2020 pandemic as voters sought to avoid crowded polling places. For the 2022 midterms, a noteworthy number returned to voting in person on Election Day. Gauging how people will vote in 2024 will impact not only decisions about how to allocate poll workers and equipment, but also when results are reported.
– Assess polling threats: While misinformation about U.S. elections persists, there are credible threats to local elections. Be prepared for the 2024 election by asking your local elections officials about the threats and vulnerabilities that concern them.
The Associated Press helps local news organizations contextualize the election coverage through localization guides — insights from AP reporters to help situate local stories in the national context. Read the AP’s full localization guide on misinformation here [password is Democracy2024].