Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why it's okay for reporters to have opinions

It's been my belief for some time that one of the problems with traditional journalism - least the way I was taught - is that it is increasingly seen as bland in this age of visual journalism, YouTube and blogging. When compared with the fire and crackle of its competitors, old school reporting can seem well... simply boring. We try so hard NOT to have opinions that our writing (and reporting) is so bland as to become irrelevant. The San Francisco Bay Guardian tackles this issue on its website with an interesting piece that quotes Arianna Huffington from her Huffington Post. To wit:

"Our highest responsibility is to the truth," Huffington told us in a recent interview. "The truth is not about splitting the difference between one side and the other. Sometimes one side is speaking the truth ... The central mission of journalism is the search for the truth."

I'm not advocating for every reporter to become an opinion writer, but sucking the life out of copy just to remain "unbiased" isn't the way either.

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