Are newspaper endorsements obsolete? Ellen and I kick it around with Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby

On this week’s “What Works” podcast, Ellen Clegg and I talk with Jeff Jacoby, longtime columnist for The Boston Globe opinion pages. Jeff also writes the weekly “Arguable” newsletter.

Jeff holds degrees from George Washington University and from Boston University Law School, and before entering journalism, he briefly practiced law. He was also an assistant to John Silber, the prickly president of Boston University.

Prompted by a column Jeff wrote in June, and spurred on by the impending midterm elections, the podcast features a free-form discussion of whether newspaper editorial pages should endorse candidates in presidential races. It’s a hot topic these days — this piece by Joshua Benton in Nieman Lab is one of just several to observe that endorsements are on the wane.

I’ve got a Quick Take on a big story out of Woburn. That city has an independent newspaper and is covered by the Globe and other outlets. But this story wasn’t broken by any of the usual suspects. Ellen’s Quick Take is on an opinion column in The Washington Post by Perry Bacon Jr., who calls for $10 billion in government funding to support a news outlet in every congressional district in the country. As you’ll hear, we both have some problems with Bacon’s proposal.

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