Editorial: The power of endorsements

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Does it matter to you who we think you should vote for?

That’s a serious question that a lot of news outlets have been asking themselves for a few years now. For a long time, when print newspapers were the dominant form of political discourse, endorsements meant everything. These days, political endorsements are coming in from all directions. How can a local news operation like ours make a difference? Do our readers even care?

We suspect that you do.

Our readers understand that we take our role as their agents seriously as we aggressively cover the issues and candidates. We’re going to meetings, making phone calls and chasing down stories so you don’t have to. We gather a lot of information, and we think that matters when choosing candidates.

So we’re pro-endorsement, generally speaking.

But….

We’re new, and we’ve only just begun reporting on the May 6 primary. We don’t have as much data on the races as we’d like. We haven’t put out interview calls to candidates. We haven’t had the long talks — arguments, sometimes — that go into a consensus. We’re pro-endorsement, generally speaking, provided we’ve done our due diligence.

And today, in our own opinion, we’re not yet qualified to make those calls.

We’re still following closely and building institutional knowledge. We’ve already amassed a sizable trove of articles on the candidates on our site, triad-city-beat.com. A couple more appear in this week’s paper, on page 11, and several more are coming next week. We encourage you to gather all the information you can, try to meet the candidates in person at forums or events — look for TCB reporters everywhere — and consider the issues that are most important to you.

Then go out there and pull the trigger.

Voting in primary elections is what separates the hardcore from the posers, especially considering that a good chunk of the candidates will be running unopposed in November.

Primaries are where the real electoral decisions are made, which is ironic because fewer people bother to vote in them.

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