I like to believe in the future we can pivot to a values based journalism in which we accept as a premise that institutionally we support things such as equality, democracy, justice and fairness - and don’t threaten our employees with sanctions for also supporting such things
That doesn’t mean every person would agree on application of those values in every single case — and the standard would still be fairness and comprehensiveness in coverage — but the idea that a reporter could or should be punished for publicly supporting such ideas is nonsense
Our media outlets already have values: holding powerful to account, speech, fairness. They’re all values. They’re all subject. None are neutral

The issue, as always, is who gets to define them and their parameters and determine which are ok for everyone else.
Yet these discussions are always framed as about values when they are really about interests. Bosses believe it’s in the outlets best interest to have their workers present as apolitical drones, even when that conflicts with the organizations theoretical values
Democracy Dies in Darkness is a statement of values. It is an opinion. It is subjective. It’s a mission statement. It is no more neutral than “Black Lives Matter”
The powerful should be held accountable - an opinion

The public has a right to know - an opinion

Fact based journalism and discourse is essential to democracy - an opinion

All of mainstream American journalism is built atop of a series of opinions/values
And so the issue, again, as always, is who gets to define our industry’s values. Does it continue to be defined exclusively by rich white guys and the biases they bring? Or does anyone else get a seat at the table?

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More from @WesleyLowery

3 May
I ask this with all sincerity: can someone explain to me the difference between a “celebration” at Black Lives Matter Plaza and a “protest” there? How does an attendee ensure one does not become the other? Is the location itself not, definitionally, “political”?
Citing a “Pride” parade as an example of a non-political event seems an ahistorical stance for a newspaper to take
Would it be ok to wear a shirt declaring that the 600k residents of DC deserve full enfranchisement if the shirt stops short of specifically advocating statehood?
Read 6 tweets
26 Apr
It’s been pretty remarkable watching a retiring generation of editors deliberately misread good faith critiques of a profession they helped lead to historic levels of distrust from the public as they head out the door
point has always been that you’re not meeting your own standard objectivity because you refuse to acknowledge & control for the bias of your whiteness and overwhelming whiteness of your newsrooms. No one I’m aware of has advocating abandoning fairness and factuality as standards
Defensively fighting strawmen is easier I guess
Read 5 tweets
24 Jan
All journalists are humans with feelings and emotions and opinions and biases. Journalists should be judged by the fairness of their *work* - not a random tweet or passing comment or private email in which those human biases are expressed
There is a huge difference between objectivity of process and individual objectivity - the latter does not exist; there are no objective journalists because there are no objective people. An objective process/commitment to fairness accepts as a premise that journalists have bias
We allow critics - of good and bad faith - to hang us by our own rope when we conflate objectivity of process with individual objectivity. Someone having or expressing an opinion does not mean they are not capable of providing fair and professional coverage on a topic
Read 7 tweets

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