Should Newspapers Still Be Taking Sides?

Journalists are supposed to inform readers about the issues, not sway their votes. So why do newspapers still endorse candidates?

Ted Horowitz / Corbis

During the 1936 presidential campaign, the Chicago Tribune, under its archconservative owner, Colonel Robert McCormick, wholeheartedly endorsed the candidacy of the Republican Alf Landon. The paper was so vehemently anti-F.D.R. that 10 days before the election, switchboard operators at the newspaper answered the phone by saying "Hello. Chicago Tribune. Only 10 days left to save the American way of life."

In the next few weeks, newspapers in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania will endorse candidates for President. In fact, most of them will endorse both a Democrat and a Republican. In...

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