Journalist biases are key to understanding their work… and readers
Sunday, December 7th, 2003
Jeff Jarvis praises Dan Okrent, NYTimes’ new “public editor,” for hanging his biases out for all to see. Jarvis says: “Now that got me to wondering why every journalist shouldn’t have a public paragraph such as that. I was raised in this business in the belief that we never said such things; we wouldn’t reveal our votes or parties or belief or grudges because that would be bias; that wouldn’t be objectivity. But not revealing them is a lie of omission.” He adds: “In this new, transparent world, it is better to be transparent. I’ve been learning that even now, even here on this blog, where I’ve found it better to reveal more and let you judge what you think of what I think.”
I also think transparency is good for the business of journalism. Readers connect better with honest, three-dimensional journalists, aka human beings.
And advertisers can pick their audiences more easily. In the interest of transparency, I should mention that our company has a patent pending based on exactly this concept.