We have been referring to the assault on foundational concepts of neutrality in journalism in academia. Including professors rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. The University of North Carolina has given the Knight Chair at Race and Investigative Journalism to New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. While Hannah-Jones was given a Pulitzer Prize for her writing on The 1619 Job, she has been criticized (like on this blog) for her role in purging dissenting views from the New York Times pages along with adopting absurd anti-police conspiracy theories.
As discussed previously, Hannah-Jones was one of those journalists who denounced the New York Times for publishing the views of Sen. Tom Cotton on the use of troops to quell rioting in U.S. cities. After Hannah-Jones and others objected to the publishing of the views of humor, remark editor James Bennet was rustled outside to create a praying apology. That however was not enough. He was afterwards compelled to resign printing a pillar which urges an alternative used formerly in history with rioting.
Notably, although using national guard troops was condemned in the protests around the White Housethe delay in using national guard troops was criticized in Jan. 6th riot.
Not long after having a leading role in the removal of Bennet, Hannah-Jones was criticized for advancing an anti-police conspiracy theory.
In her deleted tweet, Hannah-Jones promoted a thread which discussed how the recent injuries and destruction caused by fireworks was not the error of protesters but really a part of a conspiracy conspiracy. This occurred at a time when police are trying to quell the use of these fireworks in New York and other cities. These incidents were becoming more and more of a concern for taxpayers both in protests and random attacks. This comprised an episode involving the victimizing of a displaced man and attempt of the police to identify the culprit:
As criticism of using fireworks climbed so did a conspiracy theory on the Internet is the fireworks are a part of a police plot”to disorient and destabilize the #BlackLivesMatter movement” The thread promoted the opinion of a person named as Robert Jones, Jr. that
“The press is reporting this because if it is just Brown and Black children blowing off steam, however I do not think that is the case. My neighbors and I even think this is part of a coordinated attack on Brown and Black communities from government forces; a attack intended to disorient and destabilize the #BlackLivesMatter movement”
When confronted with her republishing of the conspiracy theory, Hannah-Jones deleted the tweet and apologized. That was the appropriate reaction. On the other hand, the episode does not appear to have prompted some reconsideration of the current move against the Times or its editors. In that episode, they printed not a conspiracy theory but a pillar onto a power held by the federal government for years and used in history.
There was not a great deal of”investigative reporting” shown in Hannah-Jones suggesting that police were framing protesters by covertly giving them the fireworks used contrary to the public or displaced individuals. It fit a narrative and that was adequate.
Contrary to the editor of the Times, but such theories are not viewed as cause for resignation or improper”both sideism.”
Academics also have criticized Hannah-Jones writing about the 1619 Job. According to The Atlantic, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz criticized the work and some of Hannah-Jones’s other work a letter conducted by scholars James McPherson, Gordon Wood, Victoria Bynum, along with James Oakes. They raised”things of fact” which”cannot be described as translation or’framing.'” They objected that the work represented”a displacement of historical understanding by ideology” The Atlantic noted that”given that the prestige of those historians involved, the letter is a serious challenge to the trustworthiness of the 1619 Job, which has drawn its share not just of admirers but also critics”
The trouble is that figures such as Hannah-Jones represent a basic rejection of objectivity and neutrality within journalism. She seems to adhere to a growing opinion among academics.
In a meeting with The Stanford Daily, Glasser insisted the journalism required to”free itself by the idea of objectivity to develop a feeling of social justice” He rejected the idea that the journalism relies on objectivity and said that he views”journalists activists since journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus,”Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice,” and it is tough to do that under the limitations of objectivity.”
Dressing up prejudice as”advocating social justice,” does not eliminate the taint of yellow journalism. It’s precisely exactly the same rationalization for shaping the news to meet your schedule and healing readers as subjects to be educated instead of educated.
We need to rebuild our business as one which operates from a location of moral clarity.”
All these are important voices in press. He’s also the president at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
What’s intriguing is that fundamental challenge to journalistic worth is not being widely discussed. For all those folks who’ve worked for years since columnists and in the press, the growing intolerance for dissenting views is stifling and alarming. Media outlets are currently wedded to echo journalism models where opposing views or news are increasingly rare. We’re seeing with our leading schools instructing such advocacy and prejudice as values rather than risks to journalism. It’s a shift at universities which will affect journalism for many years to come.
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