Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Should The Paper Pick a President?

THIS IS THE SEASON FOR political endorsements.

Newspapers across the country are making their cases for either John McCain or Barack Obama for president.

The Los Angeles Times wrote:

We need a leader who demonstrates thoughtful calm and grace under pressure, one not prone to volatile gesture or capricious pronouncement. We need a leader well-grounded in the intellectual and legal foundations of American freedom. Yet we ask that the same person also possess the spark and passion to inspire the best within us: creativity, generosity and a fierce defense of justice and liberty.

The Times without hesitation endorses Barack Obama for president.

The Philadelphia Inquirer also endorsed Obama but, in addition, offered a dissenting voice in favor of McCain. The dissent stated:

America needs an honest president with experience, common sense, sound temperament and good judgment in the Oval Office. Those qualities will make it easy for many to vote for McCain.

Does offering their opinion on who should be president undermine a newspaper's objectivity?

(Click here to see which candidate was endorsed by your favorite newspapers across the country).


Megan McCue Journalism said...

I for a long time have thought newspapers should definitely not take a position. To me it makes me think less of them in reading election facts They are there to be objective, this is not the right time for an opinion piece.

Shari DaCosta said...

I agree with the previous comment, even though it is apart of the newspaper's editorial section it makes their coverage of the campaign seem biased.

donnie d said...

I'm so glad to see you put this up. I could go on for a real long time, but I think the fact that we like to say we are objective when we clearly have an opinion only complicates issues. I think that the idea of partisan papers and CLEARLY EXPRESSED opinions would FURTHER journalitstic inquiry. One of the appeals of blogs is that they are opinionated so people can get emotionally charged on their content.

That drive leads them to do more research, to participate in discourse, and essentially further the market place of ideas on the whole. I think we do the nation a diservice in our frequently failed attempts at objectivity and earn ourselves harsh criticism in the process.

-donnie d a j1111 veteran

Thomas Stevens said...

I agree with donnie d. I don't believe that any newspaper can truly attain objectivity in their presentation, and that the futile efforts to do so only portray the writers as having an agenda. Take Fox News for example. If Fox News would just admit that they have a conservative bias, instead of pushing this "fair and balanced" bullshit, then I would have a lot more respect for Bill O'Reily. I don't want to read a newspaper that attempts to deceive me into believing that it is the most truthful newspaper available.

Catherine said...

I agree with all the above comments. As much as I'd like for a newspaper to be objective and give me the straight facts so I don't have to read between the lines through all the opinion to get some cold hard objective facts if a media source comes right out and says they're biased, I can deal with that.

It's getting to a point where you can hardly find objectivity anymore so I guess that I, along with the rest of the world will have to start getting used to that fact.

summergirl said...

I think it's outragous the way the media worships Obama and barely ever covers anything critical about him. They can endorse him, but they need to fairly cover both sides of the issue.

~Summer Beckley

Matt Petrillo said...

I thought that's what the op/ed section was for in a newspaper

Valerie Rubinsky said...

I don't think it's the newspaper's job to endorse candidates. It clearly paints them as biased to one side or the other. It does make you question their credibility, and since we're supposed to trust newspapers as a source of record, it's kind of sad. How can you be an objective and accurate source if you clearly spell out your own opinions? It'd be like saying "I love blue, blue's the best color in the world. All other colors are inferior to blue. But these are the facts about red." It's just silly. I don't think they should be doing this.