An ABC insider sent in this response
to yesterday’s piece on the suspension of Good Morning America‘s producer, John
Green, after his private emails were leaked.
Of course, while no-one questions John Green’s fairness as a journalist, he is
paying the price for having his pretence at objectivity blown. The objectivity
construct is being used effectively as a weapon against journalists when
really, we know that all opinion is subjective.
As much as journalists and
news organisations might feel they need to pretend otherwise, it is their
subjective opinions about the facts that shape their coverage of events. Maybe
transparency and fairness should be the two principles of good journalism, and
we can just drop objectivity. (I can’t see myself arguing that one successfully
through the ABC Board!).
To quote Michael Kinsey: “The trouble is that objectivity is a muddled concept. Many of the world’s
most highly opinionated people believe with a passion that it is wrong for
reporters to have any opinions at all about what they cover. These critics are
people who could shed their own skins more easily than they could shed their
opinions. But they expect it of journalists. It can’t be done.”