Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Sun-Times will not make judicial endorsements again this year

So Robert Feder reports this morning.

Feder writes, "some Sun-Times insiders expressed relief that they’d be skipping the primary because they feared Wrapports chairman Michael Ferro Jr. might exercise his prerogative to force the endorsement of Bruce Rauner, who sold his 10 percent stake in Wrapports before he became a Republican candidate for governor."

On the other hand, Feder notes, "[f]or those who favor endorsements, the issue isn’t so much influencing the high-profile races at the top of ballot as it is evaluating candidates for lesser races whose qualifications voters rarely have the time or resources to examine."

The judicial races for instance.

Because you're reading FWIW, you may not care whether the Sun-Times endorses candidates or not: You're making time and taking time to examine the qualifications of judicial candidates; you don't rely on any newspaper to do this for you. But you also know that many of your friends and neighbors are not doing this. The Sun-Times endorsement (any newspaper endorsement) may be influential and helpful for them as they go to the polls in March. A newspaper endorsement may be just another check-mark on the list for candidates who enjoy wide support, but it may also provide credibility and 'traction' for a candidate who is not as well known.

I remember when the Sun-Times cost 35 cents and averaged 100 pages. Robert Feder was there in "the Bright One." Now the Sun-Times costs 100 cents and is running dangerously close to 35 pages every day, even with three pages of comics. Robert Feder is off on his own website.

Yet the Sun-Times still claims to be, and still aspires to be, a major metropolitan newspaper. How, then, can it persist in the dereliction of a newspsper's fundamental duty?

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