You can add Crain’s Chicago Business to the list of local publications bowing out of the political endorsement game.
Saying times have changed, Crain’s said Monday it is ending political endorsements from its publication after 44 years as such tools are really no longer effective.
In a letter to readers, group publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk wrote “The advent of broadcast media and, later, the widespread adoption of the internet democratized voters’ access to information, creating a powerful feedback loop between the citizenry and those seeking elected office. New methods of polling—from longitudinal surveys to instant snap polls on social media, give candidates a sharp sense of what sways voters.”
Another reason is voters already made up their minds on who they would vote for, and a ringing endorsement from a major publication is useless – especially in an era where a good portion of the public is dismissing journalism as “fake news” in the Trump era as trust in the media is at its lowest point in decades.
Also, the wealth of political information voters have access to now is a better tool than any newspaper endorsement as the days of voters taking a candidate guide from a newspaper with their endorsements to the booth is thankfully over. There was never any value to a newspaper endorsement, as it’s just another thing candidates used in their annoying political ads. Plus, having a publication to tell you who to vote for – especially in an era of media consolidation as these companies became bigger and bigger comes off as ridiculous and quite arrogant.
Joining Crain’s in ending political endorsements are the 200+ newspapers owned by the Alden Global Capital including the Chicago Tribune, who’ll stop endorsing candidates after this election in major races such as President, Governor, and for the Senate, but will continue to endorse those running in other races, including for Mayor. Since the Chicago Sun-Times converted to non-profit status earlier this year, the paper is prohibited by law from endorsing any political candidate, leaving only the Daily Herald as basically the only major newspaper in the Chicago area continuing to give out endorsements in political races.