This week is the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, and similar to last week’s Republican National Convention, we think it serves as a perfect opportunity for newspapers to localize their coverage of the national election.

We wrote last week about the various ways we saw GateHouse Media newspapers covering the RNC in Cleveland, from the use of social media to see how their readers were reacting to the convention to covering which of their local delegates were actually attending.

With one convention down, we think this week’s event serves as a means to really hone in on the specific platform issues that impact your local community and engage with your readers in a conversation not only about the presidential candidates themselves, but about what issues matter the most to readers in your community.

Area comparisons

Now that one convention is over, and the other is well underway, it’s a great time to engage with area voters about what they think not only of the two conventions, neither of which have gone off without a hitch, but of the candidates themselves. Whether through social media callouts on platforms like Facebook or Snapchat, to on-the-street interviews, chances are you will not have much trouble finding area voters to give their opinions about the goings on in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

After seeing Donald J. Trump’s performance at the RNC, are area voters more or less enthusiastic about voting for him in November? What were their feelings about the specific issues discussed at the RNC? Which do they wish would have received more or less attention?

On a similar note, do you have readers who are still undecided and are waiting until the week is through and the DNC wrapped to make their decision about who they might be voting for in November?

Area issues

Each of the major political parties has now released their official 2016 platforms, and while the effects of some might be obvious to a more politically-minded person, others might remain confused as to how each candidate’s campaign promises will affect them.

Covering the specific issues addressed by platforms can not only serve to objectively inform readers of how your community might be impacted by the promises of the presidential candidates, but are also a great jumping off point for deeper, in-depth coverage.

Area voters

No matter who wins or loses, a major takeaway after elections in our country is almost always just how few people actually vote in them.

Now that you’ve spent time talking about the candidates, the issues and the effectiveness of the conventions themselves in of swaying voters in your area, a great wrap-up to your convention coverage can be informing your readers just how they might get more involved themselves.

What efforts are underway in your community to energize voters and how can your readers get involved? What do would-be first-time voters need to do to register before the election in November?

View a larger version of 2016 Voter Information Map created with eSpatial mapping software.

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