Connections: Should Newspapers Endorse Political Candidates?

Oct 7, 2016

Should newspapers make political endorsements? While endorsing candidates has been a long-held tradition for many newspapers, this year’s presidential election has reignited the debate about the role of editorial boards.

Dozens of publications -- including some Republican-leaning papers -- have endorsed Hillary Clinton. Far fewer have endorsed Donald Trump. USA Today, which has never before endorsed a presidential candidate, published an anti-endorsement of Trump. But how much influence do endorsements (or anti-endorsements) have in shaping voters’ opinions?

We examine the ethics of endorsements and the role of newspapers in American politics. Our guests:

  • Julie Philipp, senior engagement editor for the Democrat and Chronicle
  • Sean Carroll, executive producer for 13WHAM-TV
  • Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian and the Wyoming County Free Press