NY Times Editorial Board to Put Pre-Endorsement Candidate Interviews on the Record for First Time Ever

“We aim to make it our most transparent endorsement process to date,” deputy editorial page editor Kathleen Kingsbury says

Last Updated: January 9, 2020 @ 10:06 AM

The New York Times editorial board is putting all pre-endorsement presidential candidate interviews on the record for the first time in 2020, deputy editorial page editor Kathleen Kingsbury announced Thursday in a series of tweets.

In a series of tweets, Kingsbury outlined what will be different and how the editorial board came to the decision to change things up.

“On Jan. 19, the @nytimes editorial board will publish our choice for the Democratic nomination for president. It won’t be the first time we’ve endorsed a candidate — we’ve been doing that since 1860 — but we aim to make it our most transparent endorsement process to date,” she wrote alongside a photo of an empty boardroom.

“Historically, endorsement interviews are off-the-record — meaning nothing said leaves the room, other than the board’s final judgement [sic],” she continued. “But these aren’t typical times. The 2020 election is beginning in the shadow of voter suppression, a presidential impeachment, not to mention climate change and escalating foreign conflicts. Voters have a lot to think about in this election cycle, and we want to help.”

Kingsbury said that the board is in a position most Americans never will be, which is that they’re given the chance to ask unique, personal questions to each candidate for over an hour. Those meetings will be on the record and will be filmed. Full transcripts will be available online.

A podcast after the announcement will show readers and listeners how the editorial board made its endorsement decision — and how the individual members of the board found themselves in a position to make the decision in the first place.

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