Political campaigns and the resulting cottage industry of analysis rely on tradition to a surprising degree. Even in the age of Facebook friendships, Twitter mentions, and Pinterest pinups, most of the metrics of elections from 40 years ago — or more — continue to gain a lot of traction today. Nowhere does that seem more anachronistic than in the attention paid to newspaper endorsements. Of course, newspapers have the biggest incentives to promote the idea of the importance of their editorial-board endorsements. They can argue that their perspective does not just convince voters, but also forces candidates to mold their approach to their influence. That sells newspapers, or at least it used to sell newspapers, back in the days before newspapers faced stark declines in circulation/Edward Morrissey, The Week. More here.
DFO: I wrote newspaper endorsements of North Idaho candidates & issues for 13 years for the SR Editorial Board. It was one of my least favorite things to do on the Editorial Board. But I remember the buzz the endorsements caused, especially among candidates and their supporters.
Question: Do newspaper endorsements help or hurt the newspaper?