We wrote about the attack on fundamental concepts of neutrality in journalism in science. This includes scholars who reject the concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. The Dean of Columbia Journalism and New York writer Steve Coll has denounced how the First Amendment freedom of expression was “armed” to protect disinformation. Now the University of North Carolina has awarded New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. While Hannah-Jones received a Pulitzer Prize for her writing on The 1619 Project, she was criticized (also on this blog) for removing dissenting views from the pages of the New York Times and picking up absurd conspiracy theories against the police.
How discussed earlierHannah-Jones was one of the journalists who denounced the New York Times for publishing Senator Tom Cotton’s views on the use of troops to quell unrest in US cities. Hannah-Jones welcomed the Times’ shameful decision to apologize for publishing such a contradicting view and denounced those who deal with what she called “indifference, both sides” journalism. When Hannah-Jones and others objected to the publication of Cotton’s views, Opinion editor James Bennet was kicked out to apologize. However, that was not enough. He later had to resign to publish a column advocating an option previously used in turmoil in history.
While the use of National Guard troops in the White House protests was condemned, the delay in the use of National Guard troops was noteworthy later criticized January 6 riot.
Not long after Hannah-Jones played a prominent role in removing Bennet, she was criticized for it Further development of an anti-police conspiracy theory.
In her now-deleted tweet, Hannah-Jones promoted a thread discussing that the recent firework injuries and destruction were not the protesters’ fault, but part of a police conspiracy. This came at a time when police are trying to suppress the use of these fireworks in New York and New York other cities. These incidents were more and more of a concern for the residents both in protests and in random attacks. This included an incident where a homeless person was killed and police tried to identify the culprit:
As criticism of the use of fireworks increased, one conspiracy theory posted on the internet was that the fireworks were part of a police operation “to disorient and destabilize the #BlackLivesMatter movement”. The thread promoted the view of a person identified as Robert Jones Jr.
“The media reports as if only black and brown children blow off steam, but I don’t think they are. My neighbors and I believe this is part of a coordinated attack by government forces on the black and brown communities. An attack intended to disorient and destabilize the # BlackLivesMatter movement. “
When Hannah-Jones was confronted with her republication of this conspiracy theory, she deleted the tweet and apologized. That was the correct answer. However, the incident does not appear to have prompted a re-examination of the latest crackdown on the Times or its editors. In that incident, they did not publish a conspiracy theory, but a column about a power that the federal government has held for decades and that has been used repeatedly throughout history.
Not much was reported in Hannah-Jones about “investigation reports” suggesting that police accused demonstrators of secretly giving them fireworks against the public or the homeless. It fit a narrative and that was enough.
In contrast to the editor of the Times, however, such theories are not seen as a cause for resignation or unacceptable “mutual sideism”.
Scientists have also criticized Hannah-Jones, who wrote about the 1619 project. According to The Atlantic, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz criticized this work and some of Hannah-Jones’ other work in a letter signed by scholars James McPherson, Gordon Wood, Victoria Bynum, and James Oakes. They addressed “verifiable facts” that “cannot be described as interpretation or” framing. “They objected that the work represented” a shift in historical understanding by ideology. “The Atlantic noted that” the letter given its size of the historians involved poses a serious challenge to the credibility of the 1619 project, which cast a spell over not only admirers but also critics. “
The concern is that numbers like Hannah-Jones represent a fundamental rejection of objectivity and neutrality in journalism. She seems to be clinging to a growing view among academics.
In one (n interview With The Stanford Daily, Glasser insisted that journalism “must break free of this notion of objectivity in order to develop a sense of social justice”. He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity, saying that he “regards journalists as activists because journalism at its best – and indeed history at its best – is all about morality”. “Journalists have to stand up for social justice openly and openly, and that is difficult to do under the conditions of objectivity.”
Disguising bias as “advocates of social justice” does not remove the stain of yellow journalism. It’s the same rationalization of making the news to fit your agenda and treating the readers as topics that should be educated, not informed.
While other Stanford Daily professors disagreed, Wesley Lowery, who has served as the Washington Post’s national correspondent, also disapproves of objectivity. In a tweet, Lowery stated that “American outlook out of nowhere,” obsessed with objectivity “, bilateral journalism is a failed experiment … The old way has to go. We have to rebuild our industry as an industry from a place of moral clarity operated on. “
These are important voices in the media. Glasser is Professor Emeritus in the Stanford Department of Communication and was the director of the Stanford Graduate Program in Journalism. He is also the former president of the Association for Journalistic Education and Mass Communication.
It is interesting that this fundamental challenge to journalistic values is not discussed extensively. For those of us who have worked as columnists and in the media for decades, the growing intolerance of dissenting views is stifling and alarming. Media are now associated with journalistic models where opposing views or facts are becoming increasingly rare. We see that our leading schools teach such advocacy and bias as values as opposed to threats to journalism. It’s a shift in universities that will affect journalism for many years to come.