Something very cool out of the University of Minnesota, the 2004 Elections Project:

The purpose of the 2004 Elections Project is to provide timely, non-partisan information about the 2004 elections. A principal focus of the project will be on the Upper Midwestern states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and South Dakota…

Okay, so that’s a boring summary. The point is, the project will focus on the issues, in contrast to most of the mass media that instead talk about little more than how candidates are faring in the polls. I’m particularly interested in the policy briefs. (I just wish that they’d more clearly identify what’s a PDF.)

I heard a story on NPR about how more and more young people are relying on entertainment programs like The Daily Show for their news. The reporter was so distraught, concerned that the information was incomplete. I’ll give him that, but neither is your average TV news much better. That’s one of the reasons I’m so interested in the U of MN’s elections project: bored as I am by the endless series of debates amongst Democratic presidental candidates, I’m hoping to find something a bit more engaging. It’s also why I turn to the Daily Show as my primary news source. :-) (That and NPR.)

The annoying thing about the NPR piece was when the reporter gave two examples of important events in the Democratic nomination bullshit process that people surveyed didn’t know about. Thing is, both of them had been covered on the Daily Show, so you can hardly blame the show itself. And face it, there’s very little reason to follow the Democratic debates, or (god forbid) actually watch them. No one says anything meaningful.

But hey, at least they played clips from a hilarious piece about Howard Dean’s alleged temper.

Seriously, though, the campaigning has been dull. That’s why I’m stoked about this new elections project.