It’s Election Season in North Carolina.

The primary is scheduled for March 5, just a couple weeks away, and Early Voting has already begun.

You can tell by the preponderance of political yard signs in front of houses and (though not technically legal) on traffic islands in the middle of busy intersections. You can tell by the bombardment of political ads on TV, network and otherwise, because state politicos have finally figured out who is — and who isn’t — watching old-school television.

But one thing we’re not seeing this year is a lot of election coverage from local news outlets. And that’s because… well, we don’t really have a good reason for that.

Those of us of a certain age can remember when, two weeks before a primary, newspapers would be full of individual race stories, deep dives into campaign financing, dispatches from stump speeches and letters from readers backing one candidate or another.

It’s not like that anymore.

A quick perusal through the websites of daily newspapers in Greensboro and Winston-Salem show just three stories about upcoming races in the Greensboro News & Record over the last week — two of them with almost identical headlines and none of them about the most local races of Guilford County Commission or the school board — and none from the Winston-Salem Journal, unless you count a generic piece on the beginning of Early Voting, an item about a retiring Forsyth County commissioner and a “think piece” about how North Carolinians voted in a Democrat for governor while preferring a Republican for president and US House.

It’s happened so slowly you might not have even noticed, but local news is evaporating right before your eyes. And our legacy media is failing us when and where we need it most: local elections in the days before an important primary.

Here at Triad City Beat, where even now we enjoy a tiny fraction of the resources that our dailies are out here squandering, we expended just about all of our staff to put together our comprehensive Primary Election Guide, which we posted online last week and in print this week. It’s got information about every race on every ballot with special attention to the ones that most matter, which are the most local ones.

There’s a big city council election in Winston-Salem that will largely be decided by the primary. The Forsyth County Commissions could see a shift in the balance of power, and there are a slew of Republicans in our counties jockeying for open state House seats.

This is why we make the guide, every election every year. You can thank us by showing up to vote or by donating to our 10-year fundraiser.

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