Commentary: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Journalism Professors Protest ‘Objectivity’ in News Reporting

Carroll Hall UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Journalism professors at UNC Chapel Hill are protesting a “core values” statement that upholds objectivity as a key tenet of news reporting.

Faculty members of UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media converged last week to bemoan a statement of values that’s etched in granite and is found in the lobby of their school.

The core values statement, installed two years ago, touts objectivity, impartiality, integrity and truth-seeking, and after their kvetching session that statement was reportedly scrapped from the school’s website, the News & Observer reports.

In 2019, Walter Hussman, a UNC alumnus and owner of a media conglomerate of newspapers and other media outlets, donated $25 million to the UNC journalism school. Part of the donation contract installed those values into the school’s wall and mission, according to UNC’s website.

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Michigan Undercounted Nursing Home COVID-19 Deaths, Reporter Says

Staff member at nursing home showing smartphone to elderly woman

ulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff says Michigan has undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths.

The accusation follows a settlement between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and LeDuff with legal services provided by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. LeDuff and the MCPP sued the government when it failed to provide public records as required by law.

“This data is an essential part of accurately understanding the effects of this pandemic and the public policy implemented in response,” Steve Delie, an attorney and the Mackinac Center’s FOIA expert, said in a May 21 statement. “It also leaves open the possibility that the state is undercounting the number of deaths of those in nursing homes.”

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Commentary: Journalists Become Cynical, But Not Skeptical

Farm grown fruit for sale

Journalists and scientists have more in common than you’d think—at least they should. Scientists seek to understand and explain how the natural world works. They observe, ask questions, and approach new information with skepticism as they work through a careful process to determine what is true.

Journalists, in theory, use the same curiosity and rigor to provide the information we need to make good decisions in our lives. According to the Society of Professional Journalists, a core tenet of journalism is to “seek truth and report it.” In both worlds, negligence begins where skepticism ends, creating dangerous opportunities for peddlers of misinformation.

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual “Dirty Dozen” list is a perfect marriage of scientific and journalistic negligence. Each year, the EWG, a controversial, agenda-driven organic activist group, purports to rank the top 12 fruits and vegetables most contaminated with pesticides. And each year, the media takes the bait without fail, and the coverage reads like sponsored content.

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Commentary: Fear of a 2016 Repeat Inspires Anti-Trump Hysteria

Over the past four years, American news organizations have not merely shredded their own credibility, but have piled those tattered shreds into a heap, poured gasoline onto the pile, and incinerated it. Anyone who still believes what they see on CNN or read in the New York Times is in the throes of a delusion. As much as we might wish to laugh at the plight of the media, now so obviously lost in the helpless hysteria of Trump Derangement Syndrome, we are not better off as a nation as a result of the catastrophe that has befallen American journalism.

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Arizona State University Journalism School Removes People, News Items Decried as too Pro-Police

In the last four months the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University has repeatedly removed pro-police related items after students and activists cried foul.

In June, the school rescinded a job offer to the new dean of its journalism school, Sonya Forte Duhé, after students accused her of past microaggressions and other insensitive comments. Mostly notably, Duhé had recently tweeted support for “good police officers who keep us safe.”

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