Thursday, August 16, 2007

Quote of the Day: Editor & Publisher

"It’s not about 'balance,' which is a false construct. It isn't even about 'objectivity,' which is a laudable but probably unattainable goal. It is about independent thinking and sound, facts-based journalism -- the difference between what we do and the myopic screed that is passed off as 'advocacy' journalism these days."
That's from an editorial by the staff of Editor & Publisher in response to an incident at the Seattle Times in which an editor chastised members of his staff for cheering Karl Rove's retirement. "Keep your political views to your self," he told them. I tend to agree; however, I think that one could argue that the cheers weren't totally political. That they were the glee of reporters relieved to see the passing of a prince of an administration that has been very secretive and even anti-journalism. Simply put, Karl Rove made it hard to be a political reporter.

What's important in the quote above is the part about balance. Too often, cable news networks (for example) will pit backcountry preachers against biologists and astronomers in the name of balance. First of all, that isn't balance (religion and science aren't two sides of the same conversation). But second, there shouldn't be sides when facts are being discussed.

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