Newspapers are often in the news after giving key endorsements to political candidates. Just recently, in fact, New Jersey’s largest newspaper – the “Star-Ledger” of Newark – endorsed the independent candidate for governor in what is now being called one of the most crucial elections in the country right now. In a daring move, the “Star-Ledger” endorsed Chris Daggett over Democratic incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine.
This type of attention is not uncommon around election times. During the 2008 general election, the Anchorage Daily News endorsed President Obama in a clear message to then-Gov. Sarah Palin – Republican candidate for vice president.
Newspapers have had a tradition of endorsing political candidates during the election season, and to receive an endorsement from a newspaper is considered a tremendous honor – as the many voters base their decisions on those of the publication. But some question whether newspapers practice ethical journalism when they endorse certain candidates. Isn’t the purpose of a newspaper to provide information to the public, allowing individuals to make up their own mind? When newspapers endorse a candidate, it gives people an excuse to question the biases in the newspaper’s coverage of particular candidates.
So, the question remains – should newspapers endorse candidates in elections? Do you think this goes against the newspaper’s role of providing information to the public and allowing people make up their own minds, or should newspapers – as the most knowledgeable in the community – let the public know what the best choice is?