Why Journalists Shouldn’t Endorse Politicians



Note: This is not meant to be an attack on any political party or it’s representatives

When it comes to connecting with other people and sharing our thoughts we are now just a click or swipe away from doing so. That doesn’t mean that media like magazines or TV are invalidated, but there is one common thing that journalists no matter how they spread their opinions shouldn’t do and that is endorse political parties and their candidates. Yet, this is what The Economist and several other pieces of journalistic media of all platforms have done with their announcement of support for Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Now while there are others that support Clinton’s opponent Donald Trump, that is not the issue, rather it is any indication of the media like The Economist from removing bias from there reporting and trying to herd readers together to embrace their line of thinking. Now, while every human being has a right to opinion and can even express that opinion, it is different for journalists.

As gatekeepers of news for the public (and as result the opinions they believe the public should hold), it is hard for a journalist to merely be just a fact-spewing machine that allows the public to make up their own minds as a result of what they see, when journalists too have an opinion rooted in the simple fact that they are human. However, unless your job description as a journalist is to review something, thus providing personal commentary, you should never voice your personal opinions in a professional capacity and even then you should as a journalist make a story all about you and what you think. What The Economist and several others have done is commit the cardinal sin of journalism, interjecting a biased viewed, with the explicit intent to convert others to their line of thinking. As a journalist, you owe the people the facts, nothing more or less, let the people think for themselves with your facts as guides, rather than your opinions to be their truth, their only answer. This election has been divisive as any other this nation’s history, but journalists need to remember their place as messengers first, and save their personal opinions for after they have clocked out for the day, for journalism lives and dies based on the integrity of its members more than anyone can truly fathom. Personally, without that integrity, I believe journalists like the staff at The Economist are no better than the very politicians who allow them to pieces like this and feed off of it as nothing more than propaganda used to champion less than noble causes.

Fishbowl New York’s Article

Image courtesy of The Economist

One Response to “Why Journalists Shouldn’t Endorse Politicians”

  1. I agree with you that endorsing political candidates violates the ethical codes of journalists. However, I do not completely believe the problem solely lies with reporters. The entire media industry is owned by a few large conglomerations. The owners of these push for their papers to cover things that help their political interests. While this is not how it should be run this is the problem. It will also only get worse as media consolidation increases.

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