3 thoughts on “Election 2019: NewCanaanite.com Endorsement for First Selectman 

  1. I don’t disagree with any of your points Mike, but fail to understand why a media outlet endorses a candidate. Shouldn’t media be impartial, lay out the facts and let the voters decide?

    • Hi Matt,

      Thank you for posting your question. It’s a good discussion to have.

      My short answer is: Yes, media outlets are to be impartial in news coverage, and thoughtful in writing editorials. This is an opinion piece. It’s tagged as such, I hope there’s no confusion about that.

      We don’t write many editorials during the year, maybe three or four, for things we consider important enough to merit them. A local election is one of those things, in my view. Others may feel differently.

      Two years ago, I rushed last-minute to write endorsements for some of the very reasons you’re citing: I felt the local paper’s were too thin in that they didn’t give readers good information. Those were well-received. After the 2017 election I appointed an Editorial Board with an eye on vetting and reviewing future opinion pieces, including these, among other responsibilities.

      Drafting these is difficult and time-consuming. Note-taking starts months before they’re published. Though I absolutely do not believe my opinion matters more than anyone else’s, I also spend my entire professional life watching and listening to these elected officials and bodies, and my sole consideration in making a recommendation is what I think is best for the town.

      So to answer your question, I have concluded—reluctantly—that writing editorials is part of a news outlet’s job, so long as they’re thorough and limited to the most important matters that face a readership.

      I also would add, Matt—and I’ve said this in other threads on the site—it’s deeply disingenuous for a news reporter to pretend as though he or she holds no opinions. Our job is to cover the news fairly and impartially, including during those rare times when we have a strong opinion on what we’re writing about. I strive to do that, I like to think successfully. I don’t always have a strong position—in fact, even in this last set of endorsements, I didn’t feel strongly about which of two candidates should fill the sixth Town Council seat, and said so by way of giving some basic information about each of them to our readers. If something arises where I feel it’s important to weigh in–such as when I felt, in August, that a member of P&Z should recuse himself from a vote, or in May that a commission chairman should resign, or even two years ago when I felt a town committee had run afoul of state sunshine laws—then I do so in a standalone opinion piece, and again, it’s part of my responsibility to make sure readers know that’s an editorial rather than a news story.

      Thank you again for posting your comment and I hope we can continue this discussion—perhaps at our next coffee, to be held 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7 at New Canaan Library.

  2. Simply stated, I believe Kevin Moynihan and Nick Williams are good for New Canaan and, for the continued benefit of our town, should be reelected.

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