Thought-provoking column on objectivity from the LA Times:
But should we in the news business camouflage our political leanings?
Lots of readers say we ought to quit kidding ourselves, because we’re not kidding them.
Better to just come out and show where you stand. If that means marching at antiwar rallies or handing out anti-abortion pamphlets, so be it.
Bad idea. Believe it or not, we are trying to cover these controversial social issues with objectivity. And we still have the belief that people belonging to Greenpeace, for example, shouldn’t be covering the environment.
I agree. But, how many environmental reporters get asked if they’re members of Greenpeace? And, if you’re not a member of Greenpeace, does an “environmental reporter” job look interesting in the want-ads?
The system is set up to reward biased reporters with coverage of the subject about which they’re most biased. Newsrooms should do more to identify their reporters’ biases, so that journalists get assigned the right beats and editors can watch for slanted reporting.