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Should news media companies endorse political candidates?

Is the tradition of news outlets endorsing candidates useful to voters, or is it a signal of what type of coverage to expect from each outlet? Should this tradition continue?

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presidential candidates

News outlets: arbiters of opinion, or investigators of truth?

In truth, endorsements matter primarily to the base of the party that is being endorsed, as it is obviously an honor to be endorsed by anyone, especially if the reasons for the endorsements are fair and factual. As far as swaying a vote, I am positive that endorsements have an affirming affect on the reader of the paper or viewer of the news if the outlet has any credibility, but I would posit that the moment that the media outlet endorses any candidate, it has lost credibility altogether.

In the grand scheme of things, news should be unbiased – journalism is simply designed to be a check and balance to power, to be informative, and at times educational, and any news outlet that adheres to these standards will always be well regarded. News outlets were never designed to segment themselves to 50 percent of a polarized electorate; it just doesn’t make sense to the bottom line.

In truth, many say that standing on principal matters, but in the bastion of Presidential politics, I personally don’t want to know where a paper stands. I want to know that I am getting fair carefully vetted facts, that the right questions are being asked, and that the checks and balances are in tact.

Do media endorsements matter?

So do newspaper or television news outlet endorsements matter? Yes. They tell the electorate that koolaid of their candidate of choice is available on a daily basis. It warns the electorate of the possibility of stories impacting their chosen candidates being buried on page six or nixed all together. It means to the reader that red meat is all they’ll get in order to make a healthy decision with their vote.

Newspapers alongside cable news should take a very hard look at this long-lived tradition and open an entirely new market to the balance of the electorate by not practicing this stale tradition. Giving 100 percent of the truth about 100 percent of all candidates, avoiding talking points of candidates, and delving deeper into each better serves the public in mass.

As an observer of media, and as part of the the institution, I for one, do not subscribe to the elitism displayed by media giants like the New York Times editorial board who does great harm and a horrible disservice to an electorate bombarded by ads in swing states, or worse, those not in swing states that are hungry for facts.

How long has it been since this President has given a real press conference? Check the papers, and check cable media, and you’ll be hard pressed to find the answer, much less demand for one, with only a few exceptions.

Ending the stale tradition of endorsements

I’m not interested in social journalism – that should be left to the people using social platforms to share information. Journalists should avoid the human need for popularity and go for the unbiased story rather than lower themselves to simple entertainment, and rather allow the reverse – allow the people to endorse news outlets. That’s how Big Media survives.

This electorate deserves more than what it’s getting and their media sales show it.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. lessherman

    November 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    “news outlets endorsing candidates” is elitist and worthless…. give me the facts of the issues (is THAT even possible from any news media?)

  2. kenbrand

    November 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Sadly, there’s no money or power or sex in funding, producing or broadcasting unbiased news.

  3. RobertaMurphy

    November 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    There has never been a greater need for unbiased and full reporting from our news media–and a clear line needs to be drawn between news and editorial writing.  Main stream media’s greatest loss is neither revenue nor eyeballs–it is trust.  The Fourth Estate, for the most part, has failed us miserably.

  4. ToddWaller

    November 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Benn Rosales Your point about the validity of media endorsements is ridiculously poignant. Allowing the media consumer to “see” an outlet’s political bend is priceless, when it comes to triangulating from the information the media outlet shares.With regards to an outlet eschewing the endorsement process and giving  “100 percent of the truth about 100 percent of all candidates,” that will take some hard work. Again, the media consumer has been conditioned to question and look for the bias in any “news reporting” that is done. Heck, we “jump at shadows” in movies and TV shows that have current event themes. Somehow, as consumers, we expect to have a message rammed into our entertainment and have become conditioned to ignore or respond to these biases in our entertainment.

  5. annarborrealtor

    November 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Well not to bring Realtor Pac’s into it but…I got two shinny, non environmentally friendly pieces in the mail from NAR and MAR. Through them in the trash, because I would NEVER vote for who they endorsed. I have not given to RPAC since that little committee was formed either. I think when I newspaper endorses it is like a feather in the cap to the candidate, but not sure it makes much difference. Bragging rights for a few days.

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  17. jamesleetn

    November 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Your last sentence pretty well sums it up: “This electorate deserves more than what it’s getting and their media sales show it.”

  18. RuthmarieGarciaHicks

    November 4, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Ok – I’m OLD!!! I can remember back to the dark ages of the late 70s and early 80s.  I was pretty young but my parents were news addicts and we always listened to news programs editorials and editorial responses together in the evening.  
     
    What was really interesting is that there was the “Equal Time Rule” and the “Fairness Doctrine”. There was no cable news and talk radio.  The likes of Cronkite differentiated between reporting the news and editorializing.  And they actually REPORTED the news and DUG for the information.  A marvelous example of this lost art can be seen in “All The President’s Men” about Woodward and Bernstein’s coverage of Watergate.  Investigative reporting – rightly – brought down a US President.  
     
    Imagine that happening today?  They might do it over rumor or innuendo and a nice sex scandal is always good – but real reporting is a thing of the past. 
     
    Some of the news is so biased – notably FOX and MSNBC – that no one can call what they do un-slanted, yet the lines are blurred particularly with respect to cable news stations.  I can watch these stations and successfully maneuver between fact from fallacy, but then I was raised to be super-aware.  Most people can’t.  I see otherwise very intelligent people foaming at the mouth over total nonsense that they heard on some of these “news stations”.  The general public can not seem to sift between fact and opinion. This is a problem because it can easily lead to an oligarchy where he who has the biggest bull horn can contort slanted opinion into fact through sheer repetition. Most people, busy with putting food on the table wil swallow opinion as fact and act and vote accordingly.  
     
    So back to your original question – I think that making the statement of who they are for or against might help the public understand that there IS a bias and WHERE the bias lies.  Its better than nothing since they are already in the bag for one candidate over another.

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Proven, clear-cut strategies to keep your company’s operations lean

(BUSINESS) Keeping your operations lean means more than saving money, it means accomplishing more in less time.

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The past two years have been challenging, not just economically, but also politically and socially as well. While it would be nice to think that things are looking up, in reality, the problems never end. Taking a minimalist approach to your business, AKA keeping it lean, can help you weather the future to be more successful.

Here are some tips to help you trim the fat without putting profits above people.

Automate processes

Artificial intelligence frees up human resources. AI can manage many routine elements of your business, giving your team time to focus on important tasks that can’t be delegated to machines. This challenges your top performers to function at higher levels, which can only benefit your business.

Consider remote working

Whether you rent or own your property, it’s expensive to keep an office open. As we learned in the pandemic, many jobs can be done just as effectively from home as the workplace. Going remote can save you money, even if you help your team outfit their home office for safety and efficiency.

In today’s world, many are opting to completely shutter office doors, but you may be able to save money by using less space or renting out some of your office space.

Review your systems to find the fat

As your business grows (or downsizes), your systems need to change to fit how you work. Are there places where you can save money? If you’re ordering more, you may be able to ask vendors for discounts. Look for ways to bring down costs.

Talk to your team about where their workflow suffers and find solutions. An annual review through your budget with an eye on saving money can help you find those wasted dollars.

Find the balance

Operating lean doesn’t mean just saving money. It can also mean that you look at your time when deciding to pay for services. The point is to be as efficient as possible with your resources and systems, while maintaining customer service and safety. When you operate in a lean way, it sets your business up for success.

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A well-crafted rejection email will save both your brand and your time

(BUSINESS) Job hunting is exhausting on both sides, and rejection sucks, but crafting a genuine, helpful rejection email can help ease the process for everyone.

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Woman sitting at computer with fingers steepled, awaiting a rejection email or any response from HR at all.

Nobody likes to hear “no” for an answer when applying for jobs. But even fewer people like to be left in the dark, wondering what happened.

On the employer side, taking on a new hire is a time-consuming process. And like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get when you put out ads for a position. So once you find the right person for the role, it’s tempting to move along without further ado.

Benn Rosales, the CEO and co-founder of American Genius, offers an example of why that is a very bad call.

Imagine a hypothetical candidate for a job opening at Coca Cola – someone who’s particularly interested in the job, because they grew up as a big Coke fan. If they get no response to their application at all, despite being qualified and sending follow-up emails, their personal opinion of the brand is sure to sour.

“Do you know how much effort and dollars advertising and marketing spent to make [them] a fan over all of those years, and this is how it ends?” Rosales explains. This person has come away from their experience thinking “Bleep you, I’ll have tea.”

To avoid this issue, crafting a warm and helpful rejection email is the perfect place to start. If you need inspiration, the hiring consultants at Dover recently compiled a list of 36 top-quality rejection emails, taken from companies that know how to say “no” gracefully: Apple, Facebook, Google, NPR, and more.

Here’s a few takeaways from that list to keep in mind when constructing a rejection email of your own…

Include details about their resume to show they were duly considered. This shows candidates that their time, interests, and experience are all valued, particularly with candidates who came close to making the cut or have a lot of future promise.

Keep their information on file, and let them know this rejection only means “not right now.” That way, next time you need to make a hire, you will have a handy list of people to call who you know have an interest in working for you and relevant skills.

Provide some feedback, such as common reasons why applicants may not succeed in your particular application process.

And be nice! A lack of courtesy can ruin a person’s impression of your brand, whether they are a customer or not. Keep in mind, that impression can be blasted on social media as well. If your rejections are alienating, you’re sabotaging your business.

Any good business owner knows how much the details matter.

Incorporating an empathetic rejection process is an often-overlooked opportunity to humanize your business and build a positive relationship with your community, particularly when impersonal online applications have become the norm.

And if nothing else, this simple courtesy will prevent your inbox from filling up with circle-backs and follow-up emails once you’ve made your decision.

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Ageism: How to properly combat this discrimination in the workplace

(BUSINESS) Ageism is still being fought by many companies, how can this new issue be resolved before it becomes more of a problem?

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Ageism void

Workers over the age of 55 represent the fasting growing sector in labor. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 25% of the labor force will be over age 55 by 2024. A 2018 AARP survey found that over 60% of the respondents reported age discrimination in their workplace. The figure is even higher among older women, minorities, and unemployed seniors. Age discrimination is a problem for many.

Unfortunately, age discrimination lawsuits aren’t uncommon. We have covered cases for Jewel Food Stores, Inc., Novo Nordisk, Inc., AT&T, and iTutorGroup, all alleging age or disability discrimination in some form or fashion. This could be from using vocabulary such as “tenured,” hiring a younger employee instead of promoting a well-season veteran, or pressuring older employees with extra responsibilities in order to get them to resign or retire early.

How can your organization create an age-inclusive workforce?

It is difficult to prove age discrimination but fighting a lawsuit against it could be expensive. Rather than worrying about getting sued for age discrimination, consider your own business and whether your culture creates a workplace that welcomes older workers.

  1. Check your job descriptions and hiring practices to eliminate graduation dates and birthdates. Focus on worker’s skills, not youthful attributes, such as “fresh graduate” or “digital native.” Feature workers of all ages in your branding and marketing.
  2. Include age diversity training for your managers and employees, especially those that hire or work in recruiting.
  3. Support legislative reforms that protect older workers. Use your experience to create content for your website.

Changing the culture of your workplace to include older workers will benefit you in many ways. Older workers bring experience and ideas to the table that younger employees don’t have. Having mixed-age teams encourages creativity. There are many ways to support older workers and to be inclusive in your workplace.

What steps are you taking in your organization to reduce ageism in your workplace?

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