Home>Campaigns>After endorsing in NJ-2, Star-Ledger was a no-show

After endorsing in NJ-2, Star-Ledger was a no-show

No coverage of convention, no report of results

By David Wildstein, March 11 2020 10:07 am

The Star-Ledger has still not reported the results of Sunday’s Atlantic County Democratic Convention, a vote they viewed as so important that they made an unprecedented March endorsement in the 2nd district congressional race in an attempt to help their candidate of choice.

Even worse: the Star-Ledger didn’t even bother to send a reporter to cover the convention.

The Star-Ledger endorsed Brigid Callahan Harrison for the Democratic nomination to run against Democrat-turned-Republican Jeff Van Drew.  They made their endorsement without even bothering to speak to any of the other candidates running against her.

“We wanted to have influence on the Atlantic County convention on Sunday,” editorial page editor Tom Moran told the New Jersey Globe in an email responding to questions last week.

Amy Kennedy, one of the candidates who was not interviewed, won the convention by a 2-1 margin.

The South Jersey Times is owned by Advance Publications, the same company that owns the Star-Ledger, and news content is typically shared between the two.  The Star-Ledger editorial was initially on the South Jersey Times website, but can no longer be found there.

Jessica Beym, the South Jersey Times editor, told the Globe that NJ.com tags opinion content
for items that might interest local readers.  She said the South Jersey Times is not involved in those decisions.

“Tom Moran is a Star-Ledger employee, not a NJ Advance Media employee,” Beym explained.  “What they write in their editorials doesn’t matter here.”

In addition to the Star-Ledger, none of the South Jersey Times reporters attended the convention that endorsed Kennedy for the organization line in Atlantic, the largest county in the district.

“That’s typically not something we would cover,” said Beym.  “We don’t typically get down to that granular level of politics.”

Moran dismissed the idea that the 2nd district is too far away from the Star-Ledger’s circulation zone to make the newspaper relevant.

“District lines mean less and less to us in the digital age,” Moran said.

Kevin Whitmer, the senior vice president for content, expansion and development at NJ Advance, did not immediately respond to a 9:37 AM email seeking comment.  If he does respond, this story will be updated.

The South Jersey Times was which combined the once-solid Gloucester County Times, the News of Cumberland County, and Today’s Sunbeam of Salem County in 2012.

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