Local news publisher McClatchy is diving into midterm election coverage this summer with three new editorial series.
The company is also partnering with digital news magazine publisher Ozy Media to follow key campaigns this year.
McClatchy says the series will appeal to both local voters and a national audience. The projects are a collaborative effort across McClatchy’s local newsrooms in 14 states, led by Kristin Roberts, regional editor of the company's East region and executive editor of McClatchy's Washington bureau.
“We’ve launched these important editorial initiatives to enhance our reporting before the critical midterm elections,” Roberts stated.
“Unlike other newsrooms with a Washington- or New York-driven approach, ours will be focused on the communities where McClatchy is strong on the ground,” she added.
“Ground Game” will be an editorial series in partnership with Ozy Media, focused on 12 key House, Senate and gubernatorial campaigns this year.
The content will run on both McClatchy’s and Ozy’s sites and apps, and in a new e-newsletter.
McClatchy reporters Alex Roarty and Katie Glueck and Ozy politics editor Daniel Malloy will lead the coverage and cohost monthly episodes of McClatchy’s politics podcast, “Beyond the Bubble."
The companies will also launch a data project called “Who Decides?” in mid-July to track the fundraising efforts for each candidate in the districts covered in the series.
McClatchy will follow six House district races, and Ozy Media will report on three Senate races and three gubernatorial races.
Another project, "The Influencer Series,” will survey over 200 influential leaders in education, public service, faith, business, law, sports and entertainment through the election cycle on policy issues important to communities in California, Florida, Missouri and North Carolina. (They include immigration in California and gun control in Florida.)
The influencers will be recruited by newsrooms at The Sacramento Bee, Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Raleigh News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer.
In an interactive component called “Your Voice,” readers will be able to provide input on surveys, ask questions and make suggestions. McClatchy believes this will strengthen the bond between newsrooms and the communities they cover.
The stories will publish twice monthly starting June 18, then weekly after Labor Day, leading up to Election Day in November.
After the midterm election, McClatchy will turn the project into an event series called “The Influencer Summits,” which will bring influencers together to discuss solutions to state problems.
Lastly, McClatchy will produce a weekly documentary series on the Texas Senate campaign of Democrat Beto O’Rourke and his battle against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. It will be distributed on Facebook Watch and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram websites in late summer.