Journalists Having A Point of View?

Courtesy DRB62 on Flickr

Blasphemous! Absurd! Journalists should never express a point of view or it could show bias! But that’s exactly what the new editor of the Philadelphia Daily News is encouraging.

Said editor is Larry Platt. On January 31, his first day on the job, he told his reporters “to write with wit and verve and attitude” also to “not be afraid to have a point of view about what you report”.

The concern in this particular situation is hovering over the fact that the Daily News has won the Pulitzer Prize three times. Most recently it claimed the award in 2010 for investigative writing. Would this projected change in style risk never seeing a Pulitzer again?

On a universal note, here are a few things that have crossed my mind with this article. How deep are we talking here? On an extreme note I can see this becoming a problem. For example, I read a story about a a drunk driver hitting a pole during a high speed pursuit. I want to know THE facts. Who, what, where, why, when? I don’t particularly want to read an article where the reporter expresses how much scorn he has for drunk drivers, or that the police could do their job better.

That being said I don’t think that is what this is mostly about. But I think it will be interesting to see how far this goes if it is applied. So what do you think? Would you want to see reporters having a P.O.V. in their stories? Even if it is just a small presence? We are humans, even though some debate that reporters are not and have no soul at times. So maybe this is just something natural and that should be allowed in moderation. Personally I think that journalists being encouraged to “be human” is great.

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2 responses to “Journalists Having A Point of View?

  1. Honestly, I do not care about the reporter’s point of view. The drunk driving story is a great example, I do not want to hear how the reporter feels I want to know what is going on and who is involved!

  2. I agree with you Kelly, but it is refreshing to see reporters acknowledge they have bias. Being completely neutral while gathering information then writing an article is an almost impossible task.

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