Editorial: A newspaper has a duty to make endorsements

  • The opinion page of the Daily Herald is one place readers will be able to locate endorsements for a variety of suburban races. On the web, endorsements and issue reporting can be found at dailyherald.com/news/politics/election/

      The opinion page of the Daily Herald is one place readers will be able to locate endorsements for a variety of suburban races. On the web, endorsements and issue reporting can be found at dailyherald.com/news/politics/election/ Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted2/8/2015 5:01 AM

In the coming days, we will begin publishing endorsements in the upcoming local elections.

They will be based on a wide array of research -- from interviews with the candidates, from the questionnaires they complete, from the reporting we and others do, from the candidates' websites and the websites of public interest groups, from candidates forums, in many cases from what we've learned about the candidates over a period of years and, frankly, from any other source we happen to find.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

We take the work of our endorsements seriously. Because of the volume of candidates to consider, we expand the traditional editorial board to temporarily include almost every editor in the newsroom, while consciously excluding our reporters from the deliberations.

The endorsements will be the products of our best judgment and we hope you make use of them and find them helpful.

But they are not sacrosanct. Often, there are more good candidates than there are offices to be held and the margin of difference between someone who wins an endorsement and someone who doesn't can be exceedingly narrow.

And like anybody else, we're human. We make mistakes. We've made endorsements we've later regretted just as you've most likely cast votes you've later regretted.

But while the endorsements may be imperfect, we believe they have value and that they are part of the duty we as a newspaper have to you and the public.

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As some newspapers have cut back, they've found reason to rationalize that endorsements aren't important for them to do anymore.

We strongly disagree.

We believe being a part of the community means caring about its health and making the effort to contribute to its progress.

We don't just report here; we live here. Our mission is to be the voice of the suburbs, and we don't see that as a marketing message; we see that as a sacred obligation. We're fellow suburbanites. We're your neighbors.

In making the endorsements, we're not suggesting we're somehow smarter than others. We're saying we may have more access and more time to assess the candidates and the issues.

We don't ask that you follow our endorsements, just that you consider them, that you view them as one of many factors to weigh in deciding how you'll vote.

What do we look for in the candidacies we review? Good, knowledgeable people who care about the community; who try to listen to their constituents; who can articulate a vision for the future, who genuinely want to serve; whose ambition is centered around the public benefit, not their own benefit.

In short, we look for the same things you do.

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