bury the lede (idiomatic, US, journalism): To begin a story with details of secondary importance to the reader while postponing more essential points or facts.

Republicans in the Ohio Legislature passed some election reform bills that reduced early voting and restricted the ability of local boards of election to mail absentee ballots to voters.

Coverage of this issue in the Dispatch is a classic example of poor journalism.  The Columbus Dispatch reported that the bills passed “After a bitter partisan fight.” The article then reports the back and forth between the parties.  Example:  “Democrats have called for . . .  Republicans counter . . .”

Blah, Blah, Blah.

ODP’s Brian Hester has a good summary of why these voting changes are bad.  Take a moment to read it and come back to us.

The real story is found at the end of the Dispatch article:

The politics underlying the debate are that Democrats tend to do better among those who vote early: President Barack Obama won 84 percent of the in-person early vote in Franklin County in 2012.

Classic lede burying.  What is really going on is that Republicans used their majorities (gained through redistricting) to make it harder for Democrats to vote.

In doing this, the Dispatch left the most important and newsworthy aspect of the story out of the beginning.  This is bad journalism, and the professional and experienced editors at the Dispatch know exactly what they are doing.

 

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