Nikole Hannah-Jones “represent[s] a fundamental rejection of objectivity and neutrality in journalism,” a law professor and regular media commentator recently argued.
“She appears to adhere to a growing view among academics,” George Washington Professor Jonathan Turley wrote recently on his website.
He said that the “1619 Project” creator’s opposition to neutrality and objectivity in journalism is shared by many academics as well. He referenced the comments by people such as Ted Glasser, a communications professor at Stanford University. “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity,” Glasser told The Stanford Daily.
Dressing up bias as “advocating social justice,” does not remove the taint of yellow journalism. It is the same rationalization for shaping the news to fit your agenda and treating readers as subjects to be educated rather than informed.
The George Washington professor said “this fundamental challenge to journalistic values is not being widely discussed.”
He said that “the growing intolerance for dissenting views is stifling and alarming” and “Hannah-Jones has been a leading voice in attacking those with opposing views.”
Turley pointed out that Hannah-Jones praised the New York Times for apologizing for an opinion piece from U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, who had called for troops to be used to quell violence in Summer 2020.
One of the writers who condemned the decision to publish Cotton was Hannah-Jones. Hannah-Jones applauded the decision of the Times to apologize for publishing such an opposing viewpoint and denounced those who engage in what she called “even-handedness, both sideism” journalism.
“Media outlets are now wedded to echo journalism models where opposing views or facts are increasingly rare,” Turley said. “We are seeing our leading schools teaching such advocacy and bias as values as opposed to dangers to journalism.”
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