Opinion

Commentary: Do newspaper endorsements do more harm than good?

When I was a political reporter, I hated endorsement season.

Now, as a columnist, I still do.

While the editorial page was considering which candidates to endorse, I was hustling to get my interviews done before the endorsements were published. I knew from experience that campaigns and candidates get snarly after they've been passed over.

Once the endorsements appeared, I spent the next several days taking angry calls from the supporters on the other side, accusing me (and the paper) of unspeakable and often physically impossible acts.

Ahhhh, memories.

Newspaper bosses tell readers that the editorial page endorsements have nothing to do with the coverage in the news pages. I can confirm that. Not once have I been pressured to cant my coverage toward chosen candidates (or against the unchosen). Except when I was an editorial writer from 1993-95, I found out who the Tacoma News Tribune was endorsing when I read it in the paper or on the Web site.

But I wonder how we expect folks to believe that what happens on the editorial page is separate from what happens elsewhere in the paper. Doesn't it test the credulity of readers to say that the stuff on B-6 is completely detached from the stuff on B-1?

To read this entire commentary, visit The Tacoma News Tribune.

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