November 30, 2022

Why Do American Newspapers Endorse Political Candidates?

January 19, The New York Times will be endorse candidate for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.

The Democratic candidate is expected to face US President Donald Trump, a likely Republican Party candidate, in the November national election.

The temperature is one of the most famous newspapers in the United States. It has been issuing presidential candidate approvals for about 150 years.

But this year there will be something different. The approval process will be very public. Readers will have the chance to see and even hear how the newspaper’s editorial team decided which candidate to support.

Today we’re going to explore how and why American newspapers support political candidates. We’ll also show you how mentions evolve in modern media. countryside.


Endorsements in newspapers are specific statements or statements of support for a political candidate. This candidate could run for president or any number of local political offices.

American newspapers have long supported the presidential candidates in the United States. The New York Times, for example, has supported presidential candidates since 1860. So says Kathleen Kingsbury, associate editor of the editorial page at The temperature.

Approvals appear in editorial section, which gives advice. The editorial section is separate from the news section.

To treat

Newspapers make their approval decisions in different ways, notes Danny Funt in the Colombian journalism review.

For example, the policies of Tennessee newspaper, in Nashville, Tennessee, are set by the newspaper editorial advice. For an approval, Funt explains, five board members must achieve a consensus decision.

Another paper, Idaho statesman, has a board of directors that “consists of an editor, a publisher and five unpaid community volunteers.”

“Some readers might imagine a staff meeting where all the staff members vote,” Funt writes. “In reality”, he adds, “we approve” perhaps reflect the opinion of the editor alone, of the opinion writer alone, of a council of a few people, or of a council of 16, at The New York Times. “

Public and private

To make its approval decisions, The temperature has historically done “unofficial” interviews with candidates. In other words, its editorial staff met the candidates and asked them questions. The questions and answers have not been made public.

This year will be the first time that The New York Times publishes written transcripts and videos of the interviews. Kathleen Kingsbury wrote on Twitter that the idea is to make the approval process more open.

But not everyone thinks this change is a good idea. Alex Tabarrok is an economist and professor at George Mason University in Virginia. He notes that private and informal discussions can be very helpful.

“A credible unofficial system leaves some honesty in the public domain and thus improves the information as a whole,” he wrote in the popular business blog. Marginal revolution. He added: “Indeed, what possible added value can NYTimes bring with a”transparent“,” Public “process? Everything that will be said has been said.

FILE – In this Sunday, October 9, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speak during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis

Are Presidential Approvals Important?

The approval of newspapers has been the subject of debate for some time.

Prior to the 2012 election, for example, 17 major US newspapers chose not to support a presidential candidate, according to National public radio (NPR).

David Haynes told NPR that the approvals tend to “undermine this whole idea of ​​independence, and it’s really undermines this idea of ​​being an honest opinion broker. At the time, Haynes was editor of the editorial page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The 2016 election appeared to settle the question of whether newspaper endorsements influence American public opinion in the presidential elections.

In October 2016, noted the Politico media company “At the time of this writing, Clinton has over 200 daily and weekly newspaper mentions in the United States.” By comparison, Politico reported, Trump only had six mentions.

Trump won the presidency the following month.

Still, many American newspapers are expected to support the presidential candidates this year. Their reasoning often goes beyond the idea of ​​simply changing public opinion.

Chicago Tribune John McCormick Editorial Page Editor noted thatsway votes is only one of the reasons to approve, and arguably not the most important. “

He added that the mentions “explain to the world what this publication is, what it advocates, how it thinks, what principles it holds dear”.

I am John Russell.

John Russell wrote this report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.


Words in this story

endorse – v. publicly or officially state that you support or approve (someone or something)

countryside – not. the qualities of a given situation or activity; an image representing an area

section – not. part of a piece of something; a group within something bigger

advice – not. a committee; a group of people who sit on the decision-making body of an organization

consensus – not. an idea or opinion shared by everyone in a group

reflect – v. to represent something

transparent – adj. honest and open; no secret

credible – adj. capable of being believed; reasonable to trust or believe

undermine – v. decrease the effectiveness of something

to balance – v. influence; to come and go

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