Monday, November 6, 2017

Just State the Facts

Mikaela McGee

In the world of news that we experience today as a society it is extremely hard to tell whether being partisan or nonpartisan is the way to go. The rule of objectivity that we as journalists are constantly told about and told to follow tells us that nonpartisan is the best route to take because it is unbiased. But, when the president of our country is allowed to slant the opinion of the current news outlets and tweet out an attack on journalists claiming fake news, it can be hard for journalists to sit back and continue to not voice their opinion.

Recently ESPN host, Jemele Hill was suspended for comments regarding the boycotting of the Dallas Cowboy's advertisers and referring to Donald Trump as a white supremacist. In an article published by the Washington Post, the author says that while objectivity is important it does not mean the absence of judgment. Such as saying that it is not inherently nonobjective to call someone a white supremacist if there is factual evidence supporting it.

For example, when David Duke is called a white supremacist it is because there is factual evidence supporting that statement. Trump's status is not as clear and Hill did not even create nor cite an argument for her statement, she just tweeted it out in the heat of the moment.

I think that this is an important distinction to make when addressing the slanting of news. While both Fox News and CNN claim to be non-biased, it is oh so apparent that CNN is more liberal and Fox is more conservative. But, people follow their news because even though they are reporting clearly biased news, they are backing it up with factual evidence, for the most part.

For example, there is a video of CNN commentator, Angela Rye, calling out radio host, Joe Walsh, on claiming that both Barack Obama and Donald Trump had no experience in the political field. Rye, quickly fires back stating numerous political offices Obama held to which Walsh was clearly unprepared for. This shows that when you fight back with facts, while your opinion may still be seen as biased, you are factually backing it up and saying here is why I have this opinion, go look it up.

This is important because many people determine their political status on their parents or friends. Therefore, they are only being exposed to one opinion and not the other. This is why I think that journalists having an opinion is important because while it is our job to be factual, it is beneficial for people to hear different sides and be able to fact-check themselves and form their own opinions.

I don't think partisan parties would be as divided if people were more open to talk about both sides and simply state facts to back up what they're saying. Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator, was fired from her show for stating that even though she was a well-known conservative she was pro-choice. Many liberals even disagreed with her firing because for once she was voicing an opinion that was hers and not just her networks. It shows that even though you lean one way you might still have conflicting views.

This is why it is evident that objectivity is a major problem in the media currently because even the best of journalists face consequences for voicing their opinions even when they can back it up. I think this is wrong and we will continue to be divided if we continue to only focus on the objectivity of statements.

No comments:

Post a Comment