Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why the Herald endorses

Today, the Bradenton Herald's editorial board makes its endorsement on Sunday's opinion pages for the mayor’s race in Bradenton. (In keeping with the spirit of this blog entry –- which is not about who is endorsed, but why –- you'll need to find out who in Sunday's Herald.)

Why do newspapers endorse in elections? That question has sparked endless debate, inconclusive research and soap-box soul-searching for decades.

Political endorsements were once universally accepted –- whether respected or reviled -- as the role of the Fourth Estate. Then newspapers began trying to dispel the reputation of being an “ivory tower” of know-it-alls. Today, some endorse, some don’t…

This blog would go on way too long to weigh all those issues –- and I won’t in this space. But the Bradenton Herald believes we must weigh in on the leadership of our community, especially in local elections. We intend to ignite community conversation.

We need to care. That’s probably where I intended to start this blog. For the Bradenton Herald, our leadership role is most important in local issues, where you rely on us for coverage you can’t find elsewhere. You don’t have time to research all the issues –- that’s what our reporters and editors tackle.

It’s also important for you, our readers, to know that our news reporters are totally independent of that opinion process. Their reporting and discoveries help the editorial board form its platform, but that platform doesn’t dictate coverage.

Our editorial board uses that coverage, as well as interviews and candidate debates, to endorse the strongest candidate. Today's editorial presents the Herald’s choice so readers can compare with their own views.

Our No. 1 goal: to compel Bradenton residents to vote. That’s the foundation of this country.

Joan

Here's a link:

1 comment:

FloridaVoter said...

I agree, a newspaper should weigh in on important local issues, like who will lead the city for the next four years. But your premise for what you are trying to accomplish, is wrong.

The foundation of this country is not that everyone should vote. The foundation of this country is freedom, and that includes the freedom NOT to vote.

That, too, is a choice we have, and that many choose not to vote is as legitimate an outcome as any other. Whether we not vote because we are complacent satisfied, or ignorant, or because — as we are witnessing this year in the mayor's race — none of the candidates are deserving of our support nor of the position they seek.

No vote, even that for a fringe candidate, is a wasted vote if it reflects the conscience of the citizen. Nor is it any less legitimate if that citizen decides to stay at home.