A small town newspaper in Enid, Oklahoma formally endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential race, a decision from which the newspaper still hasn’t recovered, according to The New York Times Tuesday.
The Enid News and Eagle endorsed Clinton in October, asserting that Trump didn’t represent the values of the news organization. The Enid News and Eagle endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio during the primary process, but opted to support the Democrat during the general election.
“For our newspaper — a historically conservative voice in a conservative, Republican region of arguably the reddest state in the union — endorsing a Democrat for president is truly an exception,” the editorial staff wrote in October. “But this is not a routine campaign. In fact, Nov. 8 will see the most crucial presidential election race in contemporary American history.”
“As has been demonstrated time and again in recent months, Trump does not have the skills, experience or temperament to hold office. For voters, Clinton is the only reasonable choice,” the editorial board concluded at the time.
The decision prompted 162 longtime subscribers to drop the paper immediately, a fair percentage of the 10,000 members the paper served before the election. The largest backlash the paper faced was the loss of 11 of its largest advertisers, including a local funeral home that was its largest account.
The paper has yet to regain the revenue lost following its endorsement, according to the report, but the small community continues to berate the publication through Facebook, Twitter, and comment sections on the paper’s website.
Not everyone denounced the decision. Executive Editor Rob Collins claims that the paper’s editorial board was only sharing their opinion, something separate from covering the news.
“There used to be a saying that the editorial page was the soul of a newspaper, and if that’s the case, we’ve got a lot of weak-souled newspapers in the country because they’re afraid to offend anybody,” Director of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame Terry Clark told The New York Times.
“This is an excellent example of the way American journalism ought to be -standing for something – and, man, it takes guts to do that in Enid, Okla.”
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