Title

THE EVOLUTION OF THE PARTISAN PRESS: THE ROLE OF EDITORIAL ENDORSEMENTS IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POLITICS

Presenter Information

Kirsten Fruit

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Objectivity, although a relatively modern concept in American journalism, has become the standard by which reporters operate in the democratic arena. Along with fairness and balance, it guides journalists in their pursuit of truth. The press began to embrace the idea of objectivity in the middle of the nineteenth century in an attempt to shuck both its partisan past and broad reliance on political parties. Instead of a zealous advocate and ally of the parties, it became a neutral and independent medium of communication, though still retaining its role on editorial pages as an opinion leader. Now, the common practice of today’s press is to sift through the facts to present news that is both accurate and objective without letting bias seep into coverage. Through the in-depth examination of candidates and prominent issues in editorials, news organizations are better able to engage readers, stimulate discussion and pontificate on politics. Nonetheless, while newspaper editorial pages still voice the paper’s political preferences, fewer papers today choose to endorse political candidates. This presentation will document my analysis, as chronicled in a comprehensive and well-documented research paper, of political endorsements as a means in which media outlets can participate in public affairs. By looking at the transition of the American press from a political party instrument to an autonomous disseminator of ideas and information, I argue that today’s endorsements, although subtle vestiges of nineteenth century partisanship, spur public discourse and help readers navigate the sea of political hype and propaganda endemic in contemporary campaigns.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 15th, 10:20 AM Apr 15th, 10:40 AM

THE EVOLUTION OF THE PARTISAN PRESS: THE ROLE OF EDITORIAL ENDORSEMENTS IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POLITICS

UC 330

Objectivity, although a relatively modern concept in American journalism, has become the standard by which reporters operate in the democratic arena. Along with fairness and balance, it guides journalists in their pursuit of truth. The press began to embrace the idea of objectivity in the middle of the nineteenth century in an attempt to shuck both its partisan past and broad reliance on political parties. Instead of a zealous advocate and ally of the parties, it became a neutral and independent medium of communication, though still retaining its role on editorial pages as an opinion leader. Now, the common practice of today’s press is to sift through the facts to present news that is both accurate and objective without letting bias seep into coverage. Through the in-depth examination of candidates and prominent issues in editorials, news organizations are better able to engage readers, stimulate discussion and pontificate on politics. Nonetheless, while newspaper editorial pages still voice the paper’s political preferences, fewer papers today choose to endorse political candidates. This presentation will document my analysis, as chronicled in a comprehensive and well-documented research paper, of political endorsements as a means in which media outlets can participate in public affairs. By looking at the transition of the American press from a political party instrument to an autonomous disseminator of ideas and information, I argue that today’s endorsements, although subtle vestiges of nineteenth century partisanship, spur public discourse and help readers navigate the sea of political hype and propaganda endemic in contemporary campaigns.