The end of a tradition

Saturday November 3, 2012

Since the days of movable type, newspapers have endorsed candidates for offices from the local level all the way up to the presidential level.

Most newspapers continue this tradition, though some have abandoned it in recent years.

Add the Reformer to that list of media outlets that will no longer endorse any candidates on any level.

Readers of our editorial page don’t need us to tell them we have a certain ideological standpoint when it comes to politics, and it probably would come as no surprise as to who we would endorse if we were to continue to do so.

But it’s not for that self-evident reason we are discontinuing our participation in this hallowed practice.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to regular readers. Over the past several years, we’ve begun to pull back on regular endorsements, first at the local level (selectboards), and then expanding that process to more high-profile candidates.

Simply put, the editorial board believes our job here at the Reformer is to profile the candidates and present their stances on various issues and let our readers make their own decisions. For the past several months, we’ve profiled and interviewed candidates, published full coverage of all of the races in our county and at the state and national level. Some of those interviews are available online (at and at our YouTube channel).

We believe it is the duty and responsibility of each and every voter to educate themselves on the issues, on the candidates, to think long and hard about who will do the best job at representing their interests in Montpelier or Washington, D.C.

Though sometimes it’s hard to remember, each and every vote does matter.

In addition, our letters page is replete with endorsements and criticisms of certain candidates; we believe readers of the letters page actually are more influenced by their peers than by the editorial staff of the Reformer.

We’ve also published letters or columns from the candidates, offering those who choose to a direct connection with our readers.

Though we encourage our venerable cohorts in the information industry to continue to endorse political candidates as they see fit, we will no longer do so.

But one thing we will continue to do is urge and cajole our readers to cast their ballots, if they haven’t already done so, on Nov. 6.

See you at the polls.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

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