The group that presented the topic Independence in Journalism quotes:
“Comments are free but facts are sacred”
This is what separates journalists form bloggers: journalists must state the facts without biased opinions, and bloggers can write about whatever they want with as much opinion as they can muster. There is a difference between reporters who add some appropriate emotion to the stories, and biased reporters. The group gave the example of Walter Cronkite.
When the reporter is expressing some emotion on a serious story, it’s appropriate if it reflects what the subjects of the story (or the public in general) are feeling. Walter Cronkite showed how amazing the first landing on the moon was by his facial emotions on that remarkable report, which was only appropriate. The first landing on the moon was a big deal; his emotion did not cause any facts to be different from the story nor did it cause any contention because that is the way everybody felt. I also love seeing this because it shows Walter’s passion for his job. The bottom line to journalism is that journalists are in their profession because they love it; we must aspire to be like Walter Cronkite and not someone like Maggie Gallagher, who is known for violating the principles of journalism.
Authenticity is a form of honesty:
A news anchor knows things that the public does not know; it is their job to portray the sense of emotion the certain story or event they are covering, so the public can understand fully.
Journalists can be independent from those that they cover, but it is more of a state of mind instead of complete isolation. No matter what background the journalist has, they must be journalists first. The ultimate goal of the newsroom is to have an “intellectually mixed environment.” We need a richer, fuller, view of the public.
Since everybody does have different backgrounds that can effect the view of a journalist, we must simply make sure that when we state opinions, we don’t give them as fact. That way, journalists can still be independent because their opinions will be separated from the facts. We cannot be independent of the person we are. Ultimately, WE CANNOT BE FULLY INDEPENDENT, BUT WE CANNOT BE DEPENDENT OF FACTION!
What do you think is appropriate for journalists to do outside of their jobs?
Like Linda Greenhouse going to a rally for a certain cause. Does that mean she is biased in her writing? No. True, it could matter to some how you publicize your opinion because some people might take you as biased. Then again, journalists are some of the most informed people in society in all aspects, so it would be a loss to not allow journalists to voice their opinions in the public (not newsroom).