BRIAN PERRY/Pols and family newspapers

When working with political candidates, I always recommend newspaper advertising. Budgets don’t always allow for it and like any other voter contact, it isn’t a silver bullet and if not done properly is a waste of money. But a good ad will spark conversation and be part of the shared community experience. (For that matter, a bad ad will, too, but not for good reasons.)

But the media establishment is out to get Republicans, right? I don’t see it in Mississippi’s community newspapers. There are a number of publishers and editors as conservative, or more-so, than I am. And there are a number who are definitely to my left. But if there is a media conspiracy and secret leftist cabal, they’ve kept those meetings hidden from me for years. My experience has been local reporters and editors are practical watchdogs in their communities and equal offenders of politicians regardless of party or ideology. One editor I know is as liberal as the day is long; but you’d never know it from his reporting which is straight down the middle.

Absent editorials and opinion columns, I believe it would be difficult to identify the liberals and conservatives across the state in community newspapers. Some on the right or left make it abundantly clear when they ink an opinion, but communities are made up of different views as are families discussing politics around the kitchen table, or for that matter, a different sort of family discussing politics at a convention hall in New Orleans or Biloxi.

Madison Co. Journal