Newspaper endorsements

I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’m not a fan of political endorsements. And it’s that time of year. I know why we do it. Our business is to cover the community. As a member of that community, we should say who we believe would best lead. But in age where bitter partisanship is the coin of the realm, and newpapers are considered bias toward one side or the other, I don’t think most people get that there is a news side and opinion side. I have never been told we should write stories that bolster a particular candidate, and I have never (well, except for that once) tried to influence our op-eds. But I don’t think people see the distinction or how serious we take it. And in the end, I think endorsements are overrated. Of course, no has really asked me what I think so…I’m just going to keep this between us.

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2 Responses to Newspaper endorsements

  1. Todd says:

    Would you concede that the opinion editor’s bias might shape what appears in the letters to the editor? Because I’ve had at least two situations where my own letter appeared only in the Tribune, while the “rebuttal” letters appeared in the Tribune, the Star-News, AND the Daily News. Similarly, there was a recent letter that criticized our city’s Fourth of July Parade (well, it was really intended to call our mayor a fornicator). That letter appeared in all three papers, whereas the “rebuttal” letter that was published appeared only in the Tribune (and highly edited, at that). At least one other rebuttal letter was also sent in, and it never appeared at all, not even highly edited.

    Similarly, two weeks ago a letter attacking our city council majority appeared, again, in all three papers. My rebuttal has yet to make it into print. I finally went ahead and posted it to the SOC site, http://www.saveourcommunity.us.

    If it went some times for one side and sometimes for the other side, that’s understandable. But if the same side always gets the wider exposure, then it stops looking like a coincidence and more like a deliberate editorial decision.

  2. Edward says:

    Todd,
    As always, you have a well thought out post. So well in fact that I bounced it to Larry Wilson, our public editor, who oversees the letter sections.
    http://www.insidesocal.com/publiceye/

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