Study Says Newspaper Candidate Endorsements Don’t Matter Anymore
The trend has been growing in this direction for a number of years.
It's interesting to hear some of the political ads pounding our eardrums this election season, some of them local. They imply that we the people should vote for certain candidates because they're "endorsed by over 100 newspapers" or editorial boards.
But according to yet another recent study, those days of people 'trusting' the judgement of a print publication are pretty much long gone. Especially since over the last several decades, not only has print media been pounded into oblivion by digital and cable news sources, but a large number of papers are decidedly liberal. These perceived biases, whether real or not, have also caused voters to turn away, and do more of their own research.
According to a very hard-hitting story online from KOLO-TV in Reno, Nevada, a new study says the only time newspapers endorsements appear to gain any traction or consideration is if they're 'surprising' in who they endorse.
George Washington University Professor Nikki Usher says it stems from the 1800's when partisan media were a lot more common, and people depended upon print because other forms of communication didn't exist. Plus, she said these endorsements stem from the Editorial Board, but readers usually associate that with the general paper anyway.
But with the advent of cable news, and now digital media, where so much more information is easily found by voters, newspaper endorsements have dropped way down in political influence. Many papers have stopped doing them altogether for fear of losing the readers they still have.
Others point to liberal or progressive trends, where some papers repeatedly endorse Democratic candidates.
Some critics say certain media outlets are endorsing surprising candidates as a way to get attention, such as papers in conservative areas who've endorsed Hillary Clinton. In Dallas, TX, that resulted in not just cancellations of subscriptions, but even threats.