‘Media leaders are feverishly sawing at the tree branch upon which they sit’
The legacy media in America are cutting their own throats, shooting themselves in the feet and calling for their own termination, according to an analysis by constitutional expert Jonathan Turley.
It’s because of the abandonment by leaders in the industry of neutral, or objective, reporting. It’s the idea that both sides of a story, or even three sides, should be described, letting readers make their own determinations.
He noted the rise in recent years of “advocacy” journalism, those reports that portray themselves as news but in reality provide only one side, pushing one story line on readers.
“If there is little difference between the mainstream media and alternative media, the public will continue the trend away from the former,” he warned. “MSM has the most to lose from this movement, but, as individual editors, it remains popular to yield to advocates in their ranks.
“As media outlets struggle to survive, these media leaders are feverishly sawing at the tree branch upon which they sit,” he said.
He noted that, “Polls show trust in the media at an all-time low with less than 20% of citizens trusting television or print media. Yet, reporters and academics continue to destroy the core principles that sustain journalism and ultimately the role of a free press in our society. Notably, writers who have been repeatedly charged with false or misleading columns are some of the greatest advocates for dropping objectivity in journalism.”
He continued, “Saying that ‘Objectivity has got to go’ is, of course, liberating. You can dispense with the necessities of neutrality and balance. You can cater to your ‘base’ like columnists and opinion writers. Sharing the opposing view is now dismissed as ‘bothsidesism.’ Done. No need to give credence to opposing views. It is a familiar reality for those of us in higher education, which has been increasingly intolerant of opposing or dissenting views.”
He cited what has developed as a “movement” among journalism schools to rid themselves of principles of objectivity.
“Now, former executive editor for The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward have released the results of their interviews with over 75 media leaders and concluded that objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle said it plainly: ‘Objectivity has got to go.'”
He explained, “Writers, editors, commentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers. This movement includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy.”
Some of those leftists are claiming that freedom of speech is being “weaponized” to protect “disinformation,” which would be any perspective with which those leftists disagree.
“Lauren Wolfe, the fired freelance editor for the New York Times, has not only gone public to defend her pro-Biden tweet but published a piece titled ‘I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That,'” Turley reported.
He noted, “There was a time when all journalists shared a common “identity” as professionals who were able to separate their own bias and values from the reporting of the news. Now, objectivity is virtually synonymous with prejudice.”
WND reported almost two years earlier that more than 200 public-radio employees had signed a statement calling for an end to “objectivity” in the reporting of race-related issues and for the removal of some white managers.
The call to action published by the Public Media Anti-Racist Partnership also was endorsed by several station leaders, according to Current, a publication for public broadcasting professionals.
“Public radio newsrooms must transform their coverage by insisting on diverse newsrooms, ending the pursuit of objectivity, rigorously pursuing racial diversity in sourcing and audiences, and developing ethics codes that embrace anti-racism and harm reduction,” said the statement.
It charged that “white supremacist culture and anti-blackness shape the policies, norms, and standards of public radio.”
“They determine whose opinions are valued, whose voices are heard, whose stories are told and taken seriously, who is promoted, and whose resume never gets a second glance.”
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