In the wake of journalists being punished and/or fired for expressing
their opinions, Micheal Arrington of TechCrunch
writes that readers have a right to know what a journalist’s
“I think journalists should have the right to express their opinions on the topics they cover. More importantly, I think readers have a right to know what those opinions are. Frankly, I’d like to know sooner rather than later just how insane some of these people at CNN and Fox News are. To stop them from giving me that information is just another way to lie to me.”
He gives an ancedote about have conversation he had with a well-known political journalist who refused to reveal who he voted for, or his opinions in general. Arrington writes:
“He did admit that he did support some politicians and not others and that he tended to vote for a single political party. He just wouldn’t state any names. And this is where I became and remain seriously confused. As a trained journalist he saw his job as reporting the news in a balanced and unbiased way. To tell me, or anyone, his political leanings could make people see his content differently, he said.
“My point to him was that it was necessary for people to know his political biases in order to understand his content in context. I believe it is quite impossible to not bake your bias into your content. He disagreed and said that the core of his training was to do just that. Of course, his political bias was fairly evident to me, he clearly hated Bush with a passion. But I couldn’t make him say it.
“But he’s wrong. An added adjective here, an added paragraph there, just the right quote from a source and voilà, you’ve got yourself an opinion piece masked as a straight up unbiased piece of reporting.”