October 13, 2008

Newspaper endorsements: Will the JT be counted?

So, who do you think the Journal Times will endorse for president this year?

Editor and Publisher, "America's oldest journal covering the newspaper industry," today updated its list of newspaper endorsements for 2008. So far, the tally is 28-11:
  • 28 newspapers with a combined daily circulation of 2,758,429 have come out for Barack Obama
  • 11 newspapers, with a combined circulation of 1,349,721 have endorsed John McCain.
Well, that's already been out-dated: the Boston Globe, circulation 382,000 daily, just came out for Obama.

The Journal Times is owned by Lee Enterprises, and two of Lee's largest papers -- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Madison's Wisconsin State Journal -- are both in the Obama camp. The State Journal endorsed George Bush in 2004; the Post-Dispatch endorsed John Kerry.

The Wisconsin State Journal wrote Sunday:
Far more than his opponent, Obama represents a new direction. He has shown he can inspire and lead people to action. And his relatively short time in corrupt, self-absorbed, terribly-failed Washington, D.C., may actually be a key strength. Obama is not stuck in the status quo of the Capitol crowd or its long-failed Congress.
Their Democratic preference this time provides no clue about which way the Journal Times will lean. In my day, (hot metal Linotype machines, thick editing pencils, newspaperboys on bicycles leaving the paper on your doorstep) the various Lee papers' endorsement choices were left strictly up to local management. The Journal Times has a relatively new publisher, Rick Parrish, appointed to the position last December, so we have no history to go on.

The real question here is not who the JT will endorse but rather whether the paper will endorse at all. Stay tuned, but keep in mind that more and more newspapers -- afraid of offending their shadows in this grim economic climate for print -- are coming up with reasons not to endorse at all. The JT has taken that route in recent elections.

And, of course, we all know that Wisconsin was almost evenly split in the 2004 presidential election:
  • John Kerry took 49.7% of the vote;
  • George Bush got 49.32%.
  • Ralph Nader took .55% and "others" .43%.
Racine County bucked the statewide trend: Bush won the county with 51.6% of the vote, to Kerry's 47.5%.

Editor and Publisher's complete list is HERE.


  1. That could be the dumbest question you have ever asked.

    This paper is so in the tank for Obama it ain't even funny.

    Objective the Journal Times is not.

  2. And who cares? WEB 2.0 has so killed the dead tree media that newspapers endorsements mean nothing. Also you just might want to remind yourself about the circulation numbers. If the J-T and for that matter The Post just become more in the tank for worthless Democratic ideas and become one huge editorial page forget about it

  3. i could not care less if they don't endorse for president.

    that said, it would be nice for them to endorse for local races...but then they may lose a subscription, or two....

  4. That Irish Catholic Priest12/18/2009 4:45 PM

    As a recipient a number of times in the last 15 years I can surely say that this wonderful organization has always done terribly sweet things to help we inadequate streetworkers to do what we can to improve on the inequities of our culture. I am deeply grateful for their support over the years. And the largeness of their hearts in this sacred time of Incarnation. Most truly He still walks among the poor.