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3Qs: Do newspapers’ presidential endorsements even matter?

Many promi­nent pub­li­ca­tions with a his­tory of endorsing Repub­lican candidates—or of avoiding endorse­ments altogether—have bucked tra­di­tion this elec­tion cycle, eschewing Donald Trump in favor of Hillary Clinton. There’sThe Cincin­nati Enquirer, which had not endorsed a Demo­crat for pres­i­dent in nearly a cen­tury, and The Ari­zona Republic, which had never endorsed a Demo­crat for pres­i­dent in its 126-​​year his­tory. One news­paper—USA Today—took a side in the pres­i­den­tial race for the first time in its four decades of exis­tence, while For­eign Policy endorsed a can­di­date for polit­ical office for the first time in its nearly half-​​century his­tory. AndThe Atlantic, which the Chicago Tri­bune once called the “grand­daddy of peri­od­i­cals,” endorsed a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date for just the third time since the publication’s founding in 1857, making a case for a Clinton White House while calling Trump an “enemy of fact-​​based discourse.”
With less than one month to go before Elec­tion Day, Trump has yet to receive an endorse­ment from a major daily newspaper’s edi­to­rial board. But one cru­cial ques­tion still remains: Do news­paper endorse­ments even matter any­more, espe­cially in a day and age sat­u­rated by social media? We asked Dan Kennedy, asso­ciate pro­fessor in the School of Jour­nalism and a nation­ally known media commentator. Read 3Qs.