We have been referring to the assault on foundational notions of neutrality in mathematics in academia. This includes academics rejecting the concept of objectivity in mathematics in favour of open advocacy. Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker author Steve Coll has wondered just the way the First Amendment right to freedom of speech has been”weaponized” to protect disinformation. Now the University of North Carolina has awarded the Knight Chair at Race and Investigative Journalism to New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. While Hannah-Jones was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her writing on The 1619 Project, she has been criticized (like on this site ) for her role in purging dissenting views in the New York Times pages and embracing absurd anti-police conspiracy theories.
As mentioned earlier, Hannah-Jones was one of those journalists who denounced the New York Times for publishing the opinions of Sen. Tom Cotton to the use of troops to quell rioting from U.S. cities. After Hannah-Jones and others flocked to the publishing of their views of Cotton, remark editor James Bennet was rustled outside to create a praying apology. That however was not enough. He was later forced to resign for publishing a pillar that advocates an option used previously in history with rioting.
Notably, while the use of national guard troops was convicted from the protests across the White Housethe delay in the use of national guard troops was later criticized in Jan. 6th riot.
Not long after enjoying a leading role in the removal of Bennet,” Hannah-Jones was criticized for advancing an anti-police conspiracy theory.
In her now deleted tweet, Hannah-Jones promoted a thread that discussed the recent injuries and destruction caused by fireworks wasn’t the fault of protesters but actually part of a conspiracy. These episodes have become increasingly more of an issue for residents both in protests and arbitrary attacks. This comprised an episode involving the victimizing of a displaced guy and attempt of the police to spot the culprit:
The ribbon promoted the opinion of a person named as Robert Jones, Jr. that
“The press is reporting this as if it’s only Black and Brown kids blowing off steam, but that I don’t believe that’s the case. My neighbors and I feel that this is part of a coordinated attack on Black and Brown communities by government forces; an attack meant to disorient and destabilize the #BlackLivesMatter movement”
When confronted with her republishing of this conspiracy theory, Hannah-Jones deleted the conversation and apologized. That was the proper reaction. However, the episode doesn’t seem to have prompted any reconsideration of this recent move against the Times or its editors. In that event, they printed not even a conspiracy theory but a pillar onto an electricity held by the national government for decades and used in history.
There wasn’t a great deal of”investigative reporting” shown in Hannah-Jones indicating that police were framing protesters by covertly giving them the fireworks utilized against the general public or displaced individuals. It fit a story and that was adequate.
Contrary to the editor of the Times, but such concepts are not seen as cause of resignation or unacceptable”both sideism.”
Academics have also criticized Hannah-Jones composing on the 1619 Project. They increased”matters of verifiable fact” that”cannot be referred to as translation or’framing.'” They whined that the job represented”a displacement of historic comprehension by ideology” The Atlantic noted that”given the prestige of these historians involved, the letter is a serious obstacle to the trustworthiness of this 1619 Project, which has drawn its share not only of admirers but also critics”
The problem is that figures such as Hannah-Jones represent a basic rejection of objectivity and neutrality within fiction. She seems to stick to a growing opinion among academics.
In a meeting with The Stanford Daily, Glasser insisted the journalism required to”free itself in this notion of objectivity to develop a feeling of social justice” He resisted the notion that the journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views”journalists as activists since journalism at its best — and history at its best — is about morality.” So,”Journalists need to be overt and blunt advocates for social justice,” and it’s hard to do that under the limitations of objectivity.”
It’s exactly the same rationalization for shaping the news to meet your schedule and treating readers as subjects to be educated rather than educated.
Though other professors at The Stanford Daily disagreed, Wesley Lowery, who has served as a national correspondent for the Washington Post, also rejects objectivity. In an tweet, Lowery announced”American view-from-nowhere,”objectivity”-obsessed, and both-sides journalism is really a failed experiment…The old way has to go. We need to rebuild our business as one that operates from a location of moral clarity.”
All these are major voices in press. He is also the former president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
What is intriguing is that this fundamental challenge to journalistic values is not being widely discussed. For all those of us who have worked for decades as columnists and in the press, the growing intolerance for dissenting views is stifling and alarming. Media outlets are currently wedded to echo journalism versions where conflicting views or facts are increasingly rare. We are seeing our top schools teaching such advocacy and bias as values as opposed to dangers to journalism. It’s a shift at universities that will affect journalism for several years to come.