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From The Editor's Desk: Why ‘The Post’ writes endorsements

Let me start with this: The Post’s endorsement of any candidate does not reflect the opinions of the newsroom at-large, or those of The Post’s business staff, which operates independently from editorial operations.

An endorsement is a product of our executive editors and opinion editor, Kaitlyn McGarvey, who reached out to candidates and did necessary research to gather their stances on higher education and other issues pertinent to college students. Our endorsements, like much of the work our staffers do at The Post, intend to inform readers and incite healthy conversation. Of course, such endorsements are also a tradition, and can be found in our print edition on pages 4 and 5, and online.

But I begin with a disclaimer because newspaper endorsements have been so fraught with controversy this election cycle, and an unavoidable dilemma in many newsrooms. For example, The Dallas Morning News hampered its 75-year streak of not endorsing Democrats when it opted for Hillary Clinton, and lost reader subscriptions as a result. The paper’s editor, Mike Wilson, faced protesters directly.

Closer to home, The Columbus Dispatch also broke century-old tradition when it endorsed Clinton a few weeks ago. Its editor and an alumni of The Post, Alan Miller, wrote a message similar to the one I’m authoring here: newspapers are meant to promote one’s civic duties, period. Endorsements have long been a part of that.

In an Oct. 8, 1932 edition of The Green and White (The Post’s publishing title up until Fall of 1939), when the stakes for the presidency were shared between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, the paper provided front-page information for Ohio University students on casting absentee ballots, with its editors writing in an editorial that a student’s education had practically been wasted if he or she neglected to become informed and participate in the election. That much is still true — the risk of political discourse is no excuse for accepting apathy, or subjecting to the fear of criticism. The Post’s endorsements don’t come with demands, but informed suggestions. The rest of The Post’s political coverage, usually coming from our news staff, has remained unbiased and has strived to educate and inform student readers by interviewing prominent political voices on campus and Uptown.

Our executive editors would still like to hear your thoughts ahead of this election. If you have your own informed beliefs or a message for student voters, please email with suggestions of your own.

Emma Ockerman is a senior studying journalism and editor-in-chief of The Post. Want to talk to her? Email her at or tweet her @eockerman.

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