Saturday, September 18, 2010

Politics aside ... I am a biased journalist

I'm not much for politics. Sure, I've got my opinions. Plenty of strongly held ones, too. But I keep'em to myself when I'm on the job. You know, in the interest of fairness and accuracy, which are the true benchmarks of professional journalism, not the ubiquitous, misunderstood, and misapplied term "objectivity."

When I'm covering political events, the story I always try to tell is the human interest angle. In the interest of fairness, I'll tell you straight up that my personal bias in my work is that of humanity. One of the great advantages of using photographs as a means of communication is that we can see ourselves in other people, regardless of cultural, political, religious or personal beliefs.

In our increasingly polarized political atmosphere (and I admit that's an opinion based on my personal observations), I'm always looking for little nuggets of humanity. When Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, visited Statesboro Saturday as part of his "Fire Pelosi" tour to stir up participation in November elections, the political electricity in the air couldn't be felt more strongly.

At the end of Steele's speech, a citizen reminded him to address an issue of great importance to her. Honestly, I couldn't really understand much of anything she said from my vantage point, but she was clearly feisty and her comments elicited side-splitting laughter – especially from Steele himself. Did I mention doubled over with laughter?

She was asking Steel for a definitive statement on whether or not the Republican National Committee was going to support Christine O'Donnell, the surprise winner of the Republican primary for a Senate seat in Delaware. In other words, she was holding the leader of her political party accountable, and she was doing it with humor.

Is there anything much more human than humor? Any time we can see opponents, adversaries, or anyone different from ourselves as the human beings that they are, well, I think there is great hope for humanity itself, because that is the starting point for any progress.

So there it is. My bias. Sue me if you don't like it, but don't say you weren't advised.

By the way, Steel said he and the National Party have started transferring funds to O'Donnell's campaign and would support her in every way.

I am a journalist, after all.

After his speech during a stop at the Holiday Inn in Statesboro on his "Fire Pelosi" tour, Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele doubles over laughing at the spunkiness of Hazel Jordan of Savannah, right.

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff. Your statements above objectivity and journalism remind me of a passage by writer Moe Tkacik:

    "For me, an enduring frustration of traditional journalism is that what training you do get centers on the imperative to discount and dismiss your own experiences in pursuit of some objective ideal, even as journalism simultaneously exposes you to an unusually large variety of experiences."

    The full article is at


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.