Newspapers Provide Info To Make Best Candidate Choices
“Were it left to me to decide if we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”—Thomas Jefferson
“The newspaper is a greater treasure to the people than uncounted millions of gold.”—Henry Ward Beecher
Now that the country is well and truly engaged in the 2012 campaign for president of the United States, we can expect to be subjected to a 24/7 barrage of television and radio ads for the candidates for the nation’s highest office and a myriad of contenders for federal, state and local legislative seats. The electronic age has brought with it many marvels, including broadcast speeches, debates and thoughtful analysis. All are major contributions to the political process, and we would be poorer without them.
There is, however, one thing the broadcast media cannot provide us. Watching a debate, listening to commentary on National Public Radio or seeing the same broadcast ads for and against a particular candidate as many as five times in an hour assails the senses and rouses the emotions. There is no place or time to think about what one has heard and seen. Even in this era of TiVo and downloading to smartphone or tablet, who among us has the time or energy to replay a debate or even a campaign broadcast ad to ponder or reflect upon?
We yield to no one in our respect for the broadcast media and its ability to keep us up to date with breaking news. The drawback to 24/7 coverage, however, lies in the inescapable fact that some stories simply have no new developments for long periods. All the broadcast news editor can do is rearrange the first paragraph—the “lede” as it is known in the trade—and hope that the result sounds sufficiently new and different that no accusations of simply rerunning the same story will arise.
The print media, in contrast, aside from presenting more of a story than can be contained in a 10-second sound bite, offer readers the opportunity to take in a statement, a speech, a debate, and draw their own conclusions. The reader can take his or her time poring over an article, a column, an editorial. A headline or phrase can catch one’s eye and attention and lead to perusing a page and possibly reinforcing or changing an opinion.
There are those who maintain that electronic media will one day make the printed word on the physical medium of paper obsolete. We beg to differ. That someone somewhere is reading this editorial printed on paper reinforces the inescapable fact that newspapers will never entirely die. Even more important is the fact that this nation’s free and independent press is one of the most significant guardians of our freedom. Printed media have sparked all the important movements in this nation’s history. Even before the 13 British colonies that lined the Eastern Seaboard became the independent American nation, newspapers, broadsides, posters, pamphlets and leaflets made the colonists some of the best informed people of any region. The War of Independence came about because the colonists knew they had a choice. The Civil War was fought to resolve a conflict that threatened to tear the country apart. Information provided by the print media helped fight the battles and ultimately bring about the truly United States of America. Through the printed word in publications issued daily, weekly, monthly and at all other times, Americans have become the best informed nation on earth.
It is our privilege to bring to you the best, most astute, unbiased political reporting we can. We urge you, our readers, to go forth into this election season faced with the most important decision Americans can make—that of choosing our elected representatives at all levels, local, state and federal— armed with all the information possible. Whether you agree with the candidates we endorse in our editorials, we hope you will avail yourselves of all the information about the candidates and their positions that you can in order to make the best choice. The best choice is, after all, your choice, and yours alone. We are here to present all the facts we can, but the decision is up to you, an informed electorate. Our mission is to serve as a conduit for as much information as we can possibly provide.
The decision is up to you.