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By Eric Frederick, NC Local Newsletter Editor
My former colleague Pat Gannon has worked both sides of the political journalism street — as a reporter and editor for 17 years, and for nearly six years now as public information director for the State Board of Elections.
That gives him a distinct perspective on the state of political reporting, elections administration, voter awareness and trust, the threats to democracy, and how news and information professionals can best serve the electorate.
I caught up with him the other day for a conversation about the serious challenges that face elections administrators and journalists these days — and about how journalists can empower voters, and increase trust in the workings of democracy.
Here’s our conversation, lightly edited for length and clarity:
EF: So how has your job changed in the last couple of years?
PG: We had a very close governor’s race in 2016 that got messy afterwards. I didn’t think it could get worse or get tougher.
2020 got tougher.