Quote IconYes, journalists (or policy experts) usually have a rooting interest in what they write about, but it need not shape what they write. That’s the whole point about objectivity—and the role of editors and second drafts. On a psychological level, too, a journalist might want to see Al Gore win the election, but he or she might also want to maintain his reputation as a journalist whose reporting can be trusted by Republicans as well as Democrats. One hope might override the other. That’s what professionalism is about.

Glenn Greenwald and Bill Keller Are Both Wrong About Objectivity in Journalism

Quote IconThe civil war in Syria has a habit of swallowing people whole. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 10,000 people are currently imprisoned in regime facilities, with another 3,000 held by rebel fighters. … Reporters Without Borders says that along with upwards of 100 citizen and professional journalists killed in Syria since March of 2011, 74 more have been arrested, kidnapped, or gone missing. The Italian journalist Domenico Quirico, who spent 152 days in rebel hands, recently described Syria as a “country of evil.”

One of Syria’s Brave Young Journalists Has Been Kidnapped

Can local journalism still hold politicians accountable?

Back in May, while reporting a cover story on the 2012 political landscape in Ohio, I decided to follow up on a article done last year by Toledo Blade reporter Tony Cook, noting the large number of donations from employees of a North Canton direct marketing company called Suarez Industries to Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who is challenging Sherrod Brown, and to Congressman Jim Renacci, who is running against Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton in a redistricted seat in northeast Ohio. It’s against the law for employers to reimburse their workers for political contributions, and I decided to look up some of the employees and ask them if that had happened in this case. It was while doing so—visiting decidedly modest homes whose owners had made $10,000 or even $20,000 worth of donations to the two campaigns—that I discovered that I was not the only one curious about the donations: the FBI had launched an inquiry as well. 

Soon after my article appeared, Mandel’s campaign announced that it was returning the contributions (this after Mandel himself had brushed off questions about the contributions in a comical videotaped interview where he replied to the queries by noting that he sends thank you cards to all his donors.) Mandel hardly needed the dough—outside groups have so far spent more than $10 million attacking Brown, far more than against any other Senate Democratic candidate. But Renacci held tight to the money—that is, until today.

Alec MacGillis — "Ohio GOP Candidates Return Sketchy Lucre"

Why are liberals lending credibility to RT, a zany Russian TV station?

“My general impression is, whenever they have me on, it’s to criticize the American government,” says Jacob Sullum, a senior editor at Reason. “Of course, that’s no big surprise because that’s pretty much what I do. That’s how I make my living. But I did start to wonder after a while what they were saying about the Russian government.” Sullum says he’s OK with appearing on RT because he, personally, hasn’t seen “anything beyond the pale” when he’s been a guest of the network, but “it would trouble me if they were drawing a moral equivalence between Russia and other countries like the U.S.”

- Jesse Zwick, “Pravda Lite

Photo courtesy of Foreign Policy