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.
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%.
Editor and Publisher's complete list is HERE.