Should journalists reveal their votes and political leaning?

    by Mark Glaser
    March 17, 2008

    With more reporters having blogs, we get to know more about their personal lives and feelings. But in the push for online transparency, should we also know how they cast their vote in elections and whether they are a Democrat, Republican or Independent? Time magazine’s James Poniewozik argues that the time is right for full disclosure by reporters, even if they all end up being Democrats who voted for Obama (guilty as charged). “Opinion is not itself dangerous,” he writes. “Hidden opinion is, as is journalism slanted to reflect it.” Do you think reporters and editors should reveal their political votes and biases, as Slate has done in the past? Or should these votes remain private? How far should journalists go with transparency online? Share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll run the best ones in a future Your Take Roundup.

    • what’s to stop a reporter from saying he is voting for one candidate and then turning around and voting for someone else when they are behind the curtain?

      i find this proposal hard to police all the way around. i think a professional reporter has a job to report the facts and that should be his main goal and work to take their emotions out of the debate as much as they can. i think that is a big problem with 24/7 news outlets now bc there is too much personal opinion injected into the debate instead of the facts. i guess people could be bored by them ;-)

    • With most journalists blogging,it is rather difficult to conceal one’s political views.

      Whether this is a good thing or not? Probalby not if you take the position that journalism should be impartial until you get to the comment pages.

      But it is difficult for journalists to totally lose their in built bias anyway.

    • kob

      my major political leaning is regret.

    • Ina

      Seriously, I can guess a journalist’s political leanings anyway from his or her work. I would actually rather have full disclosure than strong political convictions masked as objectivity. The very very best journalists transcend their personal leanings and present a balanced view, but that breed is rare and I expect it to become extinct sometime soon. Journalistic objectivity is a myth. And I’d rather see the person behind those articles and grasp their full background and politics via a blog.

    • This boils down to trust. If I trust a journalist it doesn’t matter what they do in their personal life (so long as its legal).

      If I don’t trust them, why would believe what they said about their voting.

      Finally journalists are entitled to the same rights as everyone else in society to deciding whether they want to disclose their vote or take advantage of ballot box secrecy.

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