Media bias?

I received an email from a former DN employee asking if the paper had editorialized a preference in candidates.

Since I haven’t renewed my subscription (and don’t intend so) I am unable to answer his question.


I don’t read it every day but I’m pretty sure the Daily News did not and has not ever officially endorsed a candidate. Now, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t unofficially endorsed a candidate before, such as when Belsey ran for re-election and got an inordinate amount of press and credit from the Daily.

I think that when the changes were made at the Daily News, beginning with the “departure” of Earle Gale, there was a lot of discussion around this topic.  The original elements of that discussion included the following possible changes in the DN:

a. emphasis on good news fluffy stories
b. avoidance of bad news (which might be the elimination of tough investigative reporting)
c. replacement of news stories, ap newsfeed with community photos
d. speculative pressure to endorse or support a particular side in the coming election.

The overwhelming tone of online response was critical of these changes.  However, I think the newspaper has basically enacted “a”, “b”, and “c” above.  My hope is that “d” proved to be just a bit too hot to handle, based on letters to the editor, phone calls, etc. 

I do think the newspaper has made an overt effort to present all sides with equal time.  I think they could have dug harder into candidates strengths and weaknesses.  The only time I think they really slipped was when they turned one moment of the all candidates forum into an entire story several days later (a question to Mr. Coons on the corporate tax).  This needed to be balanced by a focus on moments in the forum where Gary’s response trumped Herb’s spin.  I am thinking in particular about the debunking of the “90’s bad”, “libs good” mantra, which Gary accomplished with stats can facts, the auditor general’s reports on ndp budget surpluses, and a degree of flourish.