The Tennessean is (sorta) ending endorsements

The Tennessean is going to focus on helping “citizens make good decisions” rather then on traditional endorsements, according to a fairly confusing column by USA Today Network-Tennessee Vice President Michael A. Anastasi.

“Contemporary readers want to be able to make smart decisions and learn from balanced perspectives,” Anastasi writes. “But they would rather not be told what to think, according to USA TODAY NETWORK research.”

So all endorsements are out, right? Well, not exactly.

“This does not mean we have stopped doing endorsements; rather, we are focused on races where we believe our opinion adds the greatest value,” according to Anastasi.

That apparently means endorsing Jim Shulman for vice mayor of Nashville and retiring Democratic state Sen. Thelma Harper’s chosen successor, Howard Jones, over state Rep. Brenda Gilmore.

As for that little $50 million-plus race to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam? Crickets.

9 Responses to The Tennessean is (sorta) ending endorsements

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    Their endorsements are devastating to all candidates but conservatives.

  • David Collins says:

    Are they kidding? Who cares? The Tennessean hasn’t endorsed a winner in a contested race in so long, I cannot remember when they did! They may as well stop, nobody cares who they endorse anyway.

  • Donna Locke says:

    Don’t believe anything Anastasi and Plazas say about having a balanced newspaper. They have an agenda, and actual journalism ain’t it.

  • Tennessee Jed says:

    Wish all newspapers would get away from endorsements. Papers will almost always pick the establishment candidate that fits the political biases of its readership base. Instead, they should devote at least one sizable article to each race. Provide background on all candidates as well as their positions on a few key issues to that political position. Go beyond the cookie-cutter information you can find on a candidate’s website.

  • Huckster says:

    The once-mighty Tennessean is once again offered the opportunity to grow a spine and once again fails to do so. What Gannet has done to this paper should be a crime.

  • Rick Rout says:

    Newspaper endorsements are by and large irrelevant today. 25 years ago, an endorsement from a local newspaper was thought to influence and generate 15-20% additional votes for the endorsed candidate. 10 – 15 years ago, that number had dropped significantly to about 8 – 10%. Today, less than 5%. I would think the dramatic decline in the influence a paper once had is, today all reporting is written with such a biased liberal slant that they have become untrustworthy and unreliable relative to the facts.
    These numbers surprised me a little but they were taken from polls conducted by our local newspaper from subscribers and non subscribers. That being said, does my local newspaper still endorse?, Yes. Does anyone care? Not that anyone can tell.

    • Tennessee Jed says:

      It’s not a liberal bias…’s an establishment bias. For conservative GOP voters, it means newspapers tend to endorse candidates and ideas that are more liberal/moderate than their preferences. For progressive Dem voters, it means newspapers tend to endorse candidates and ideas that are more conservative/moderate than their preferences.

  • Donna Locke says:

    Speaking of irresponsible newspaper leadership, please take a look at the number that Columbia Daily Herald editor James Bennett did on Amanda Kelton, a candidate for Maury County mayor.

    Bennett’s waiting more than a week to publish an important “clarification” after his commentary saying Amanda is a Democrat (she says she isn’t one) is just the latest unprofessionalism from this guy. Amanda says that isn’t all Bennett did, and I can vouch for the omissions Amanda states, because I read that newspaper.

    I am not supporting Amanda, by the way.

    I have a journalism degree and worked as a newspaper reporter and an editor, but I’ve been ashamed of our traditional news outlets for a long time. They have been our national undoing. The damage their deliberate unprofessionalism has done to us can’t be overstated.

  • Michael Lottman says:

    Gutless abdication of journalistic responsibility.
    You could see it coming when they gutlessly endorsed Hillary and Trump in 2016.

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