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EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's why newspapers have a long history of recommending candidates for office


As we announce our endorsement for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in today’s edition, we understand that some readers will disagree with the decision or disagree with the concept of an endorsement.

Since the foundation of newspapering in this country, the opinion section has a long history of keeping media companies relevant and viable. But it is a separate part of the newsroom that makes decisions about news coverage.

Many of us on staff feel that the opinion section is the most important newspaper innovation of the 20th Century. It allows staffers to share their opinions without tainting the integrity of our news content. It is not uncommon or unethical then for a newspaper as a whole to take stances in an editorial or endorse a candidate for office.

An editorial is opinion writing, and there is a key difference between news reporting and opinion writing. 

A reporter seeks the truth and relays that information in print, online, and through multimedia like video, photos and podcasts. An opinion writer uses that same process, and sometimes uses the information gathered by reporters, and comes to an opinion based on that information. They are different jobs within the same organization.

Each week, Central Michigan Life editorial staffers meet to discuss what issues or pieces of reported news deserve a response from the editorial board. The same process went into our endorsement for president. 

We gathered information from various sources about the candidates and their proposed policies. We reflected on our coverage of campaign stops. We kept college students and the issues affecting them most in mind when examining that information.

Not all of our staff members were on board with endorsing Clinton.

RELATED: Clinton should have been disqualified over emails a long time ago

Members of the Central Michigan Life advertising, public relations and social media departments all had some say and offered input into our endorsement of Clinton.

We share some of their concerns in the endorsement. We have an obligation to make our readership understand that our choice carries a unique set of personal, political and occupational flaws.

Compared to the other options, we would much rather deal with the consequences of electing a president like Hillary Rodham Clinton than deal with the potential damage caused by her opponent.

Our mission as student media is to keep students as informed about the political process as possible. Please consider using this endorsement as part of your decision making process.

Despite whatever information we present, we understand that casting a ballot is a personal and highly private decision. The American people have tested those virtues in some way or another by choosing to support one of the major party candidates, and again, so have we as the staff of Central Michigan Life.