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Seeking to restore trust, a Chicago newspaper halts political endorsements


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chicago-sun-times-newspaper-endorsements.htm
Investors Business Daily:

With the explosion of online news and opinion sources in recent years and the effective explosion of Newt Gingrich's bias against media bias at last week's debate, an intriguing announcement this week in President Obama's adopted political hometown.

The Chicago Sun-Times, the perennial progressive also-ran morning newspaper founded seven decades ago to combat the broadsheet bias of the Chicago Tribune, announced that it will no longer publish editorial endorsements for any political candidates.

Somehow, the precinct captains and colonels of the city's Democratic machine will figure some way to influence the citizenry without one annoying tabloid publication suggesting who should get readers' votes come election time.

The editorial, signed jointly by Publisher John Barron and Tom McNamee, editorial page editor, said the page will continue to examine the issues, to question the candidates, post their interview videos and questionnaires online and publish candidate assessments from respected civic groups.

"What we will not do," declared the editorial, "is endorse candidates. We have come to doubt the value of candidate endorsements by this newspaper or any newspaper, especially in a day when a multitude of information sources allow even a casual voter to be better informed than ever before."

Originally, the American press was a political press. Each party or faction had its own publication and supporters consumed their contents to reaffirm what they already believed. They still do that, especially online. But last century more papers began adopting a patina of objectivity, attempting to separate opinion from news coverage.

Good luck with that at a time of mounting and profound national cynicism about numerous national institutions.

Although meaningless to many in newspapers' declining readership, editorial endorsements have a powerful internal force behind them. They cause most candidates to cater to the latent self-importance of publishers and editorial scribes. And campaigns at all levels collect newspaper endorsements like pigeons scampering after strewn bird seeds.

It will be interesting to see as tough economic times continue for newspapers if others voluntarily relinquish the endorsement tradition.

The eruption of applause and cheering for Gingrich's premeditated denunciation of media bias and alleged manipulation during last week's CNN debate audibly confirmed what's long been known: Believers on both sides of the political spectrum, but especially the right, take media bias as an article of faith. And just try to convince liberals that Fox News tells stories in a more interesting and fair way, though about 36% of Fox News viewers are Democrats.snip
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I know giving endorsements to candidates dates back to the beginning of papers in this country, but should they? They should just report the news. What a novel concept :)

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Trust is a precious commodity, difficult to obtain and easily lost.

 

The MSM is a prime example.

 

What serious minded adult actually "trusts" anything in the MSM nowadays??

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The Chicago Sun-Times, the perennial progressive also-ran morning newspaper founded seven decades ago to combat the broadsheet bias of the Chicago Tribune, announced that it will no longer publish editorial endorsements for any political candidates.

 

Good for them...I suppose. So we could see stealth endorsements, what they cover, how they cover it, what they don't cover. In other words same old same old without the editorial page coming out and saying who they support. It should also be noted that there are those on the Left who are not happy with "The One" for not being Progressive enough....by this I can only assume they mean Obama has not set up a Soviet in he White House, declared a national SEUI week, appointed a Sodamy Czar.

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It will be interesting to see if the endorsements come off the editorial page and into the headlines, article leads, and their story "selection".

 

That's even more insidious than overt endorsements.

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Originally, the American press was a political press. Each party or faction had its own publication and supporters consumed their contents to reaffirm what they already believed. They still do that, especially online. But last century more papers began adopting a patina of objectivity, attempting to separate opinion from news coverage.

 

What is happening is a return to the days when towns had more than one news source and they all had different biases. I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point this ideal of the objective journalist, just reporting "The Facts" got started (I suspect in the 1930's but have no proof), combined with the raise of corporate media, limited outlets, schools of journalism, and we find where we are today, or where we were until 10-12 years ago. We are now returning to an older time.

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It will be interesting to see if the endorsements come off the editorial page and into the headlines, article leads, and their story "selection".

 

That's even more insidious than overt endorsements.

 

 

I still question the value of these endorsements. NRO has come out for Mitt Romney, will that make you more or less likely to support him?

I mean they are fine and all, but do they really matter?

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It will be interesting to see if the endorsements come off the editorial page and into the headlines, article leads, and their story "selection".

 

That's even more insidious than overt endorsements.

 

I guess it will be just like the networks, partisan, but just not saying so. I don't expect them to change on that score. The outlying counties used to get a different perspective but actually the Sun-Time has bought them all out, so everyone gets the same garbage.

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