College Papers Light on Endorsements in Battleground State

Virginia is gearing up to be an Election Day battleground between McCain and Obama, but endorsements from college newspapers in the state are basically nonexistent.  As The Charlottesville Daily Progress reported, papers at the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, James Madison, and Liberty University will not be publicly supporting either presidential candidate with an official editorial of endorsement.


What was most interesting to me is that editors’ decisions were made for a mix of reasons, including: a lack of consensus among the editorial board about which candidate was best suited for the job; a belief that student readers turned to the paper for local issues and not to “get a national fix of politics”; and a perceived lack of access that editors felt did not provide them with any special knowledge that they could impart about the candidates that voters did not already have.


My thoughts: First, if there’s no consensus among the board, write an editorial about THAT and what it might mean and how that compares to prez endorsements in the paper’s past.  Second, student readers may dig all-things-local first but the college rag can play a bigger part than you think in upping their national consciousness as well, so don’t shy away from tackling the macro stuff, especially when it’s this historic.


And for the record, two influential papers in the state, The Flat Hat at William & Mary and The Mace & Crown at Old Dominion, did go the endorsement route.  Both supported Obama.

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