How to cover an election?
June 11, 2010 8:10 AM   Subscribe

What's the awesomest online coverage of an election you've ever seen?

So Brazil has an upcoming presidential election in October, and I'm helping out with a newspaper's online coverage. We're brainstorming new, innovative formats to do this. The focus is on politics for people who hate politics. We know that there is interesting data out there among the noise, how to find and show it?

I've searched past questions for this, but they deal mostly with sites for following a specific american election – many suggestions are dead or in traditional formats, like say blogs. OK, we know about blogs, what else have you seen out there that's cool? A worldwide perspective (both U.S. and non-U.S.) is very, very welcome! Thanks!
posted by Tom-B to Law & Government (6 answers total)
Probably not what you're looking for, but because it still makes me laugh, my favorite election coverage money shot is this.
posted by xedrik at 8:18 AM on June 11, 2010

I thought Daily Kos's 2008 Election Dashboard was pretty sweet and I was glued to it. Apparently a lot of election parties used it on big screens.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:01 AM on June 11, 2010

I recommend looking at what the New York Times did with the 2008 US general election. Here's the first presidential debate -- you can see that they went beyond just a standard transcript and video. You can search for a certain word, and the graph at the top will show where and how many times the word came up in the debate; then you can jump right to those points in the video. The graph is color-coded to make it clear who's speaking, and it labeled the sections, e.g. "Iraq," so you could jump straight to the issue you care about without sitting through a whole debate. They also did this with "stump speeches." These features don't seem to actually work anymore (I'm not sure if it's just my browser), but you can still see what it looked like.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:11 AM on June 11, 2010

I would really appreciate it if any media outlet cut out the hyperbolic bullshit, and stopped giving so much coverage to non-issues.

Also, less but better coverage, rather than masses of insta-coverage. I'd rather read a considered report on X, with intelligent comment on how it impacts Y, than a minute-by-minute "The candidate is wearing a blue tie".

And finally, your headlines should actually reflect the story (which is a given, really). The Guardian, of all places, ran a front-page (website) of "Nick Clegg says X". Reading the actual interview, not only did he not say X, what he had said couldn't be read as even saying anything like that. But the headline was obviously dramatic and pulled in readers, so who cares about the veracity of it?

Sadly, these recommendations do not high circulation make.
posted by djgh at 9:15 AM on June 11, 2010

Great suggestions, thanks everyone!
posted by Tom-B at 3:35 PM on June 18, 2010

Followup time! So the 1st round of the brazilian elections was yesterday, and a straightforward, non-gimmicky format was chosen. Simple charts and maps that let the numbers speak for themselves:,120705.htm,120718.htm

This was totally inspired by the examples here, thanks hivemind!
posted by Tom-B at 7:39 AM on October 4, 2010

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