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By JGillman, Section News
By Michael Gillman Sr.
Some question has been raised as to why several Michigan daily newspapers have endorsed Jocelyn Benson (D) instead of the clearly better-qualified Ruth Johnson (R) for Secretary of State. The answer requires an understanding of newspaper editorial boards, rather than an understanding of the candidates.
Most local newspapers are granted a high degree of autonomy by their corporate ownership,when it comes to editorial policy. Endorsements in a presidential or gubernatorial race might be dictated, but rarely an endorsement below that level. Newsmen and editorial writers of local papers are generally"soft-left", fitting the characterization of mainstream media.
Elections featuring several offices pose a problem for that mindset. The editorialists want to be seen (and see themselves!) as thoughtful and even-handed. They feel their influence in a community will be compromised if the public sees the local paper as overwhelmingly one-sided. Thus it is required that a demonstration of thoughtful deliberation and "fairness" be reflected in the editorial page endorsements before every election.
And how does all of this translate itself for the 2010 election in Michigan?
~ The answer below the fold ~
(1 comment, 409 words in story) Full Story
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