American newspapers have historically endorsed candidates in public elections, and The Buffalo News, along with most major U.S. papers, continues to adhere to this tradition in the hope of serving the public interest.
At The News, endorsements are made after a process intended to gain a full understanding of the major candidates and their qualifications. Their chances of victory and their party affiliations are not determining factors. The question the editorial board considers is: Which candidate, in each particular contest, would best serve the broad public interest?
Major-party nominees for office are invited to interviews with members of the editorial board. In these meetings, the judgments of the candidates on important issues are probed and their backgrounds and prior records in public office, if any, are explored.
The interviews are important, but they are not the only research tool in the process. Members of the editorial board also discuss the candidates with others in the community who have watched them in action. They research News files on the candidates' histories in public life and search the public record.
Members of the editorial board - consisting of The News publisher, editor, editorial page editor and three editorial writers - then come to a consensus on the choices to be made.
In the end, the decision comes down to a judgment of many factors - issues, past experience, character, suitability to a particular kind of office, quality of opposition.
The News then offers its endorsement to its readers as one tool for them to use in their own process of deciding whom they will vote for.