Following The Boston Globe’s odd decision to run its Michelle Wu endorsement in the Saturday print edition rather than in the big Sunday paper, I discussed newspaper endorsements with Michael Jonas of CommonWealth magazine. Are they fading away? Are they still relevant? When and why do they matter?
2 thoughts on “Are newspaper endorsements fading away?”
I’m sure candidates like them; they make a nice talking point in campaign ads. But I’m not convinced the public at large cares about newspaper endorsements in our internet & social media age. I mean, look at how few newspapers in 2016 endorsed Donald Trump, yet he won anyway. Some newspapers are still keeping the custom of endorsements alive, but I don’t think it moves the needle the way it did in previous generations. Note: I am NOT saying newspapers are no longer relevant. They absolutely are. But in a world where there are so many online media outlets offering opinions about politics, the power that newspaper endorsements once had has been greatly diminished.
You’ve probably noticed, newspaper editorials are fading away, period. Even The New York Times only prints a single Sunday editorial most weeks. In Worcester, Gannet’s Telegram and Gazette never editorializes about the area anymore, or nearly anything else. It looks like the Globe timed their endorsement for Day One of early voting, and they’ve displayed it prominently on their website since. I think they remain believers that their endorsement carries weight. But it had more impact in the preliminary, where I’m sure their progressive choice drew some Janey fence-sitters to vote for Campbell. With Wu vs. Essaibi George, the Globe’s endorsement of the more liberal candidate was no surprise and probably won’t change many minds.
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