We're a vital part of politics

Thursday, October 9, 2008

An article crossed by desk this week that I thought needed to be shared with my readers as well as those seeking elected office. Entitled "Local candidates elect newspapers" and written by tom Edmonds, of Edmonds & Associates, and Jack Brady, of the National Newspaper Association, the article offers some interesting information on the role newspapers play in the election process. It has always been my opinion that political advertisements gain credibility when they appear in newspapers as opposed to those annoying TV ads that I think most people eventually tune out, because they always seem attack oriented.

The article sets out the following reasons why candidates should launch a newspaper campaign. The statistics used in this article are based on a nationwide poll of voters and the media conducted by the Cromer Group, of Washington, D.C., and Moore Information, of Portland, Ore., in 2003.

* Newspaper readers are voters. In the 2004 presidential election, nine out of 10 newspaper readers cast ballots. In the 2006 mid-term elections, more than eight out of 10 newspaper readers went to the polls.

* Newspapers are credible. Voters look to newspapers for the information they need to make up their minds about candidates and issues. Newspaper advertising gives a campaign credibility and respectability that's unmatched.

* Newspapers reach crucial undecided voters. the conventional wisdom among consultants says that only 10 to 15 percent of the electorate is typically up for grabs at the end of the campaign. Among those who are undecided, three out of four are regular newspaper readers.

* Newspapers are reliable. Nobody reads the newspaper to escape from reality. Newspaper readers seek out indepth, detailed political information.

* All politics are local. Voters know newspapers are the place to go to find out what's going on in their communities. Newspapers cover local issues every day. voters know that with a newspaper they'll get real, indepth coverage of local issues, which are the same issues that will help them make decisions on election day.

* Newspapers are an essential part of a successful media mix. The newspaper is a proven and effective advertising medium.

All of these reasons point to newspapers as the best method of getting the message out about candidates and issues. This not only provides a good argument for why candidates should place ads in newspapers but also provides reasons why interested citizens should subscribe to their local newspaper. If you're not a weekly reader of the Cassville Democrat, you're definitely missing out.