Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Whew, good thing I'm not young...

In a recent NYT article that I could not read (because of its select content), John Tierney supposedly suggested that conservatives don't either go into or come out of J-Schools because of the liberal bias from professors. Greg Mitchell reports that "In TierneyWorld, Liberals Block Young, Right-thinking Journos." Whew, good thing I am not young, or else I might not be able to think for myself. This almost implies that because students are young that they are swayed by what their professors think and are not able to think for themselves. From the very bright students I have met in my J-School, they are definitely not swayed by what our professors say about politics. They absolutely respect what they teach in the classroom, but my student colleagues (who, yes, are much younger than I am) already have their minds made up about their politics before they arrive on campus. I already have my mind made up, too.

It is not to say that I am not open-minded, however. Despite being a life-long conservative, I am open and willing to listen and discuss other perspectives. As an objective newcomer to this field, this is really one of the issues that I see journalism struggling with. There is this long-standing tradition of being objective in reporting, co-mingled with intense personal beliefs. These two are constantly struggling with each other so that when we read someone's piece we are left wondering which side won. In Mr. Tierney's case, he is paid to be biased, but our young students are taught not to write that way for the jobs that they will take when they graduate. He has a luxury that they will not have, at least in the near future. If he would like to see more conservative voices, then reporting will have to change, or journalists will have to be more accepting of bloggers who feel free to express themselves in their own voices.


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