Saturday, October 1, 2016

Should News Organizations Endorse Candidates?

Newspapers and other news organizations often make endorsements during election cycles, explaining to their audiences why they believe people should vote one way or another.

These endorsements usually run in the opinions section, which is usually made up of an entirely different staff than from those who create content elsewhere for the organization.

For example, USA Today this week released an endorsement for anyone other than Donald Trump for president. It's the first time in the 34 year history of the news organization that they took "endorsed" a candidate.

Should news organizations endorse candidates (even though USA Today didn't really endorse anyone ... they advocated against a candidate)?

Does this reveal an overall bias and thus overshadow all the other news produced by the outlet?

Or is this good service journalism, helping their audiences process and understand elections and issues?


Zach Kocis said...

I don't think news organizations should be taking sides in a presidential election. Voters are very easily influenced by what they read. Although that shouldn't be the case, and in theory, readers should be able to make up their own mind about the candidates, it becomes dangerous when the news organization interjects their opinion and perhaps influences readers. I think it's okay for reporters to voice that opinion in opinion or commentary articles, but I don't think that the whole news organization should take that stance. I think they should remain objective.

Teresa Sayers said...

I don’t think newspapers should endorse presidential candidates. I feel as though it does reveal an overall bias, even if it is printed in the opinion section.
No matter how many times a media outlet says the opinions printed do not always represent their own, people will always associate what is printed with that outlet.
It will also push some readers away, or offend them. And make them question what is printed in every section of their newspaper.
Because the USA Today endorsed “everyone but Trump” it will now be difficult to judge whether or not they can be biased.
I don’t think it is helping the audience process and understand the issues. I think helping their audience would be to give them the unbiased facts and stories and the knowledge to support the candidate of their choosing.

Lauren Hillegas said...

I think that as journalists endorsing one candidate or the other is showing a bias to that one particular candidate, however if there is something in the opinion section that holds one candidate above the other that is different. It's the opinion section, people are going to have opinions for the presidential election. I think that as a journalist though, it would be wise to provide an opinion piece on both candidates. This shows your publication isn't swayed either way, but rather letting the readers make their own decisions with two pieces for both candidates.

Siani Colon said...

News organizations should not be able to endorse candidates. The media influences what people are thinking because they provide the information necessary to form those opinions. If a news outlet is biased toward a particular candidate, it gives the candidate an unfair advantage and does not give the others not enough press. If it is stated in the opinion section, the section should provide both sides or it would appear as though they have an agenda. Readers and viewers have a right to access as much information as they can in events as crucial such as the presidential election. The media should report both the positive and negatives about all the candidates so there is a broader understanding. Lack of coverage on one candidate because the organization favors another is harmful because that candidate could lose potential voters because they are not being informed. Instead of telling people who to vote for, just the action of voting should be encouraged.

Patrick Bilow said...

I think it is important to keep in mind that this election is unlike any other we have seen before. Trump has constantly attacked various news organizations leaving it very difficult for many journalists not to be biased against him. Neither candidate appears to be an ideal person to run our country and in my opinion individuals support one candidate despite the other.

That being said, I think it is important that news organization do not get caught up in the drama of this years presidential race. "We must remain independent" means that we shouldn't take sides and endorse one candidate over the other. In this situation and during such a unique presidential race it is the duty of journalists to deliver the facts and let the public form their own opinion.

This publication makes USA today look like they are taking sides. All this does is further drive niche media and feeds to the drama of polarizing opinions. I think it is wrong for a news organization to endorse one candidate despite the other or to take sides in any way during a presidential race. We should serve the public by staying neutral in order to allow citizens to form their own opinion based on the facts that we provide.

Jaya Montague said...

I don't think that news organizations should endorse a candidate. This election is unorthodox but I still think that news organizations should be as objective as possible. Endorsing a candidate sends a message to subscribers that the news organization is not bipartisan and there might be readers who don't support the party the news organization supports. It alienates readers and from a business standpoint, news organizations lose money because Republican readers that support Donald Trump (no matter how horrible he is) might stop investing their money in USA Today because there is no neutrality. It's not fair and balanced reporting even though it's Donald Trump. Also, I don't think that news organizations should endorse candidates because the opinion that the USA Today put out might not be representative to all of the people affiliated and working for the paper.

Emma Connolly said...

I don't think news organizations should endorse or advocate against candidates under any circumstance. It is their job to present unbiased news. People can make up their own minds about candidates by doing their own research. I think that it does compromise the future of the newspapers credibility and overshadows all other news produced by the outlet. The news organizations should just present the facts and let people decide who to vote for on their own. People are pretty close minded when it comes to the election so I doubt whatever is said will actually change someone's opinion about the candidate they're voting for.

harada57 said...
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