Success and failure, but mostly success

by Brian Clarey

Did you notice? Probably not — this year’s election has failed to capture many a citizen’s interest, maybe because so many of us are so busy wondering how we’re going to pay our bills, send our kids to college and maybe retire some day that we’ve tuned everything else out.

But around here the election — any election — is a big deal. And covering elections, issues and candidates is a big part of what we do around here.

It’s part of the journalistic credo: We acknowledge that most people don’t have the time to stay on top of who’s who and what’s what come campaign season, so we take it on as part of our overall mission. This means that we know more about the candidates and their positions than most eligible voters.

In the past — as recently as last week! — we have endorsed the candidates we feel will do the best for the people of their districts and the greater good.

But sadly, we will not offer endorsements this year for state and national races, a decision reached after long, careful and contentious consideration.

In the end, philosophical differences between the members of the editorial board produced a stalemate, and the end result, no matter how it turned, would not have been satisfactory to any of us.

It is, in a way, a failure — at least to we who honor the traditions of our profession. Political endorsements are a time-honored exercise for newspapers, a privilege we have engaged in with relish.

It is a failure because we admit that we have been affected here in our offices by the political polarization that has hamstrung this country and our government of late. Unlike the Democrats and Republicans, however, we all still get along pretty well and in every other way work together like a machine.

And in most ways, we believe this shift is a success. Our alternative this week is to offer a comprehensive voters’ guide to all candidates in these elections, backed up by more information on our politics website,

In this way, we acknowledge and respect the vast difference of opinion among our readers and our community. We also hope to wipe away any perception of bias in our newsroom, which will continue to objectively dispense facts, as has always been our policy.

And in doing so, we honor an even greater function of the newspaper: to publish the truth.

In a time like this, we figure, with so many patently ridiculous, misleading or outright false statements coming from “legitimate” news sources, it is in our best interest — and that of our readers — to act as a beacon, a true source of news you can trust..

In this case, we feel information is more important than opinion. And besides, if you’ve already decided who you’re going to vote for in the Richard Burr/Elaine Marshall senate race, we’re probably not going to be able to change your mind anyway.

YES! Weekly chooses to exercise its right to express editorial opinion in our publication. In fact we cherish it, considering opinion to be a vital component of any publication. The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration