Is it wrong for a news anchor to remind people to exercise their right to vote?

I forgot. I didn’t have time. I didn’t know who to vote for. These are the most common excuses for not voting that I heard in the quarter center I was in the news business. During the last decade that I was anchoring morning news I would remind viewers on election day to go out and vote. I would also remind them that this was their chance to make a difference and that if they didn’t vote, they had no reason to complain about the leadership of our city, county, state and nation. I also always made it a point to emphasize that my preceeding comments were an editorial statement and did not reflect the view of the station and were my own opinion.
I did this for a couple of reasons. One, our morning newscasts were more laid back with more time to fill than the afternoon and evening newcasts and we had a more conversational style with our audience. But the second and most important reason was that I feel very strongly about people voting, especially in light of the fact that so many people in our country and others have died for the right that many in this country don’t bother to exercise. Did I cross the line? Some say I did while others say I came close. Still others said I was merely offering a reminder. It doesn’t matter now, I’m not on TV. So, here’s the reminder in the Memphis and Shelby County area on this Tuesday. Go out and vote. If you don’t, you have no reason to bitch about who is running things.

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2 Comments on “Is it wrong for a news anchor to remind people to exercise their right to vote?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    preach on!

  2. Joan Carr Says:

    It’s so sad that someone (presumably in management?) thought simply reminding people to vote crossed some editorial foul line. But I’m assuming these are the same managers at that station on the river who told newsroom personnel, even behind the camera personnel, that they couldn’t put campaign signs in their yards.

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