Reassessing Opinion for Journalists

Sunday, October 30, 2011

For years journalists have wrestled with the idea of not voicing their own opinion in their stories.
Technically, journalists are giving up their freedom of speech.
If journalists are involved in the stories that they are writing about why are they not allowed to voice their opinion in what they are talking about?
The example given was Occupy Wall Street and all the writers involved must not include their lives in the stories.
Also, if a journalist “likes” a politician on Facebook, must they like all other candidates?
Is it not time to admit that we live in an age where it’s appropriate for journalists to also have an opinion? We as people also need to recognize that these people are not drones who report the news on a daily basis.
Journalists have been fired for voicing opinions and one example is CNN Senior Editor and Middle East expertOctavia Nasr was fired for having posted a sympathetic remark about an alleged terrorist on her Twitter account. Regardless of the fact that this man was a terrorist, why was this grounds for firing Nasr?
If we are to keep assuming that journalists do not have an opinion, does this not prevent our culture from moving forward intellectually?


Ben Rodgers October 31, 2011 at 8:18 AM  

I think it's very important for reporters to keep away from showing their opinions in their reporting. We are suppose to take what we hear through the media and make our own informed decisions. If reporters are telling us their opinions it is easy to follow them and no make our own decisions.

kelleygray November 2, 2011 at 8:48 AM  

I think that having more restrictions on journalists' opinions has more to do with having them remain credible than it does with limiting their right to free speech. It's hard to write an unbiased piece on something that you are involved in- a conflict of interest. If I read a story on Occupy WallStreet, I am more likely to take it with a grain of salt or not look at it credibly at all if I know that the person is involved in the protest himself. In the end, reporters should report the facts of the story and let the readers form their own opinions and views.

tyler.crandell November 2, 2011 at 9:23 AM  

Reporters often do have some great opinions since they more than likely know a lot about the topic, but the reason they don't show an opinion in their writings is so that the audience knows what they are reading is unbiased. An article that is siding with one side or another is not going to be seen as an appropriate article for everyone to read.

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