A challenge for reporters covering redistricting 10 years from now?

In an Oct. 11 piece about the court case that will determine the shape of Colorado’s congressional districts, The Denver Post reported:

“The legal challenge pits a map from Democrats that drastically changes the current boundaries to create more competitive districts against a Republican map billed as ‘minimum disruption’ because it follows the status quo.”

I noticed in that paragraph The Post stated, as a point of fact, that the Democrats’ maps were “more competitive” and the GOP maps were “billed” as minimally disrupting the status quo.

Did this mean that  The Post had done an analysis and determined that the Dem districts were found to be more competitive than the previous ones? I asked Post reporter Lynn Bartels, who wrote the piece, and she responded via email:

What happened is the editor rightly sent the story back to me saying the top was a little dry and I didn’t set up the point counterpoint between Republicans and Democrats.

I quickly dashed off a new sentence and sent it in. It should have said that creates districts that Democrats maintain are more competitive …

You might think that a reporter should be able to tell us whether the Democrats’ proposed districts are more competitive than previous districts, even if reporters don’t want to say that any one district is objectively “competitive.” Post stories certainly did lay out the issues at play, but, still,  maybe that’s something to strive for when this story repeats itself 10 years from now.

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