Political strategists once vied for editorial endorsements as a key component of a successful campaign. In todayís climate however, it appears that the power wielded by large media editors is on the wane. A recent article in Salon cited the recent Democratic primary campaign for mayor of New York. The three major media outlets in New York all endorsed a losing candidate. As the article asks, are readers beginning to tell editors that they donít care what they think?

Politicians have traditionally courted the editorial boards of the local media outlets with long term strategies to win an endorsement. They have gone so far as developing strategy memos, creating dress rehearsals for editorial board meetings and delivering policy papers to the editors. This is a lot of energy and resources that may now be misdirected.

Part of the reason for this shift may be the fact that people are getting their news from so many sources that an editorial opinion may be lost in the noise. Another may be the fact that there is no monolithic opinion and instead there are many splintered opinions depending on the micro-topic considered at the time. Instead of voting party lines, people are more interested in voting for the person that best identifies with their pet issues.

This is not to say that editorial power has completely disappeared, but the impact does appear to be significantly diminished. Instead of catering to the traditional opinion makers, it may behoove political strategists to employ their efforts in more direct voter communications and grassroots campaigns.