Bill Peduto is not the next mayor of Pittsburgh, as so many in the media here like to say ... at least not yet.
Yes, he won the Democratic primary race for mayor, which may be tantamount to winning the general election around here. But giving him that title before a single vote has been cast is a kind of journalistic shorthand that is beyond inaccurate. It's sloppy. It's unprofessional. And it's just wrong.
Imagine how Republican challenger Josh Wander and independent Lester Ludwig must feel when they see their opponent anointed as the winner by some in the media months before the election even takes place. They're entitled to basic fairness and accuracy in reporting if the voters are to be well-served.
Mr. Peduto won the Democratic primary with approximately 23,500 votes. But when talk show hosts refer to him as "the next mayor of Pittsburgh," they're ignoring the right and will of all 200,000 registered city voters to make their voices heard.
In journalism, it's important to be first, but it's essential to be right. Most of the journalists I know live and die by the accuracy of the stories they report, right down to the smallest detail. Media shorthand, time or space constraints are no excuse for allowing such a transgression of voters' rights to occur.
Mr. Peduto is a nice enough guy, but it's wrong to hear him described as the next mayor -- presumptive or otherwise -- by the media until the polls have closed on Election Night.