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article imageChicago Sun-Times ends candidate endorsements after 71 years

By Andrew Moran     Jan 24, 2012 in World
Chicago - The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board announced this weekend that the paper will no longer endorse candidates running for any political office. Instead, the paper said it is committed to providing in-depth information about the candidates.
Prior to World War II, Marshall Field III founded the Chicago Sun-Times to help promote President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and to fight against Col. Robert McCormick’s Chicago Tribune and its stance against the president.
For decades, newspapers across the globe have endorsed political candidates running at city, state and federal levels of government. But those days have come to an end, at least at the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board announced Sunday that it will not be endorsing candidates in the coming elections. The paper, which has come under new ownership, promised its readers that it will provide information about the candidates, such as video interviews and comparisons between the candidates.
“What we will not do is endorse candidates,” wrote the editorial board. “We have come to doubt the value of candidate endorsements by this newspaper or any newspaper, especially in a day when a multitude of information sources allow even a casual voter to be better informed than ever before.”
Why would the paper stop this practice? Bias. The Sun-Times believes that if the paper endorses a particular candidate then it could lead its readers to think that there is some sort of preconceived notions in any part of the newspaper.
“But our goal, when we’re not too much on our high horse, is to inform and influence your thinking, not tell you what to do. Especially with respect to endorsements,” added the editorial board. “As many of you have told us, you can make up your own mind, thank you very much. We endorse that opinion.”
To ensure impartiality, the paper’s senior management will be imposed the journalist code of ethics, which means they will be prohibited from making contributions to political campaigns.
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