Why we will no longer endorse in elections
Updated: February 22, 2012 2:32PM
In the past, many American newspapers were unabashedly partisan, and not necessarily only on the editorial page. Not unlike news shops on cable TV and the Web today, they catered to a core of readers who thought very much like them.
Some readers may recall when one of the daily newspapers in the Chicago area, the Tribune under the leadership of Col. Robert McCormick, was staunchly Republican. Seventy-one years ago, the Sun-Times was founded by Marshall Field III to promote, on the editorial page, the U.S. entry into the war in Europe, as a counterpoint to McCormick’s isolationist views.
Fortunately, those days of major publications aligning with one political force or another are largely gone. Most good newspapers today attempt to appeal to the widest possible readership, including people of every political persuasion, by serving up the best and most unbiased news coverage possible. They want to inform you, not spin you.
With this in mind, this news organization as well as all the publications that are part of the Chicago Sun-Times and Sun-Times Media LLC will no longer endorse candidates for office.
We will continue to provide clear and accurate information about who the candidates are and where they stand on the issues most important to our readers.
We will post candidate questionnaires online and we will interview local candidates and present comparisons of the candidates’ views on the key issues.
However, what we will not do is endorse candidates.
Research on the matter suggests that editorial endorsements don’t change many votes, especially in higher-profile races. Another school of thought, however — often expressed by readers — is that candidate endorsements, more so than all other views on an editorial page, promote the perception of a hidden bias throughout the newspaper.
We intend to keep our editorial page a mix of views, including those of our columnists, guest essayists, readers in letters to the editor, and our own views in occasional editorials.
Our goal is to inform and influence your thinking, not tell you what to do.
Especially with respect to your vote.
As many of you have told us, you can make up your own mind, thank you very much.
We endorse that opinion.
Pioneer Press Newspapers