I am a big fan of the writer Chris Hedges, especially his stunning and disturbing book War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. Hedges has been a reporter for both the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor.
Chris has written a short provocative essay about the negative consequences of objectivity in journalism. I strongly recommend it.
I am still playing around with it and, because Hedges is not one for understatement, I suspect that I might come out with a slightly more moderate take on the issue.
But, as usual, he has challenged a taken for granted orthodoxy with passion and insight. What, he asks, is so great about slavish attention to objectivity if we use it almost ritualistically to avoid, and not face, complexity and nuance. What about the cases in which fairness might not be justified, when a journalist’s best judgement is that only one, and one side alone, holds up?
I always need time to digest Hedges, but I never need time to be provoked.