13 November 2011 | Articles, Articles 2011, Communications | By Christophe Lachnitt
Journalists Are Human And That’s What Makes Them Credible
That’s what The Associated Press doesn’t understand. The news agency has just updated its charter on social media in an aberrant way.
AP’s new charter now prevents reporters from expressing any news-related personal opinion on their Twitter account.
This ruling is stupid for two reasons:
- A reporter is never completely objective because all human beings are guided by their emotions in the analysis of the stimuli processed by their brain. This is true for the journalist who reports the news as it is for the other seven billion people who live on the planet Earth. That’s why I’d rather know what the opinions of a journalist are: It will allow me to enjoy his work in a smarter way because the journalist will thereby be able to go beyond the mere statement of facts and feed a debate of ideas. Conversely, the media that want us to believe that their journalists are robots without emotions take us for fools. A journalist who expresses an opinion is more credible to me that a journalist who claims not to have any. The main characteristic of a good journalist isn’t to be objective; it is to be intellectually honest. And, unless you give up on the human race, having an opinion and being intellectually honest isn’t incompatible.
- The explosion of social media notably means that everyone now speaks publicly on the web – on its own initiative or involuntarily when quoted by someone else. It will therefore be increasingly difficult to entertain the fiction of dehumanized journalists. With this theory, the written press is once again making the wrong strategic choice because the success of the new media partly lies on the expression of freethinking opinions that are more appealing today – especially to younger generations – than a deceptive objectivity.
Let journalists free – and us with them!