Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Objective Reporting vs Neutral Reporting

Evan Sayet:
What’s the difference between objective reporting and neutral reporting?

Consider a journalist covering a football game and the Jets have just defeated the hapless Patriots 57-3. (Hey, this is MY post, I can make up the score.) An objective journalist would write a report about how the Jets are a better team than are the Patriots. The story would feature key plays and decisions that highlighted New York’s superiority to the New England franchise on that day.

But what if all sports reporters had it drummed into their heads that they were not allowed to write a piece that in any way implied that one team was better than any other? Given the objective fact — the final score — not only would the reporter’s story not reflect the Jets’ superiority, but they would have to in some way explain how it is that two equally good teams saw such disparate results. The only way for this reporter to be neutral and deal with the objective facts would be to invent a false narrative whereby the evidence does not prove the obvious. If the Jets aren’t a better team, then they must have stolen the Patriots’ playbook. If the Patriots aren’t an inferior team, then the officials must have been bought off.

Consider the coverage of Nidal Hasan’s massacre of 14 innocent people at Ft. Hood. The objective reporter writes about the clear and obvious link between the murderer and his Muslim faith. But the neutral reporter — the one who has been taught that he cannot imply in any way that one culture or one religion is better or worse than any other — will not only not write the objective truth, but he will seek to invent a narrative that proves the murderer has been victimized.

Just as the sports reporter could not write that the Jets are a better team and therefore had to turn the good into the bad (the cheater), the neutral news reporter had no choice (i.e. would not be a “good reporter”) unless he ignored the truth, which, in turn, left him no choice but invent a storyline where the mass murderer was the victim and his victims the bad guys.

“Neutrality” is just another form of the indiscriminateness that I write about and another example of how indiscriminateness of thought does not lead to indiscriminatess of policy but rather invariably and inevitably sees the Modern Liberal side with evil over good, wrong over right, and failure over success.

More Evan Sayet in The End Zone.


Bob said...

Obviously, you are correct!

gcotharn said...

Hopefully, the internet will continue making the old media more and more irrelevant. For instance: do we really need old media writing about CRU East Anglia fraud? Maybe not. Maybe the internet, Fox News, and conservative radio are enough to get the word out. Regardless, old media is losing credibility, month by month.