Research, both scholarly and anecdotal, suggests that newspaper endorsements make little difference in the minds of readers. This fact led Edward Morrissey at The Week to argue that “Newspaper endorsements are at best meaningless anachronisms, and at worst damaging to the newspapers themselves.” Given this, Morrissey asks, why do it?
However, what if, instead of scraping the newspaper endorsement we re-imagined it? Could we make it work better?
Over the past week the New York Times endorsed President Obama for a second term and the Des Moines Register endorsed Governor Romney, the first time they have endorsed a Republican since Nixon. The endorsements were very different in tone and style, but they had one thing in common: There were no links in the web version of either editorial.
While the reticence of some newspapers to link, especially to articles outside their own archives, has been well documented I think the lack of links in most, if not all, newspaper endorsements is a missed opportunity. (more…)