The newly tenured celebrity journalism professor at Howard University told CBS News, “All journalism is activism.”
Res ipsa loquitur. This statement is signature significance for a fake journalist who understands neither her profession, nor its function in a democracy, nor a professional’s ethical obligations, not just in journalism, but in any profession. No competent, qualified journalist would ever say such a thing out loud. No trustworthy journalist would even think it.
Yet this “journalist” will be teaching aspiring journalists in college that their chosen profession is the antithesis of what it was designed to be.
Oh! Did I forget to mention her name? It is New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones. Consider: journalism departments were fighting over who would get her to corrupt their students. She spurned the offer of an academic chair by the University of North Carolina, which we now know places higher priority on wokeness credentials than on, say, competence, to take the post with Howard.
The culprit responsible for the racist and anti-America fake history exercise called the “1619 Project” went on to tell CBS,
“When you look at the model of The Washington Post, right? ‘Democracy dies in darkness,’ that’s not a neutral position. But our methods of reporting have to be objective. We have to try to be fair and accurate. And I don’t know how you can be fair and accurate if you pretend publicly that you have no feelings about something that you clearly do.”
Combined with her statement that journalism is activism, Hannah-Jones provided smoking gun evidence of the staggering number of facts and concepts she doesn’t comprehend. (Again, she is going to be teaching students, and spreading her ignorance as pearls of wisdom.) Let’s see.
- To say journalism is activism is like saying practicing law is bird-watching. Journalists’ job is to uncover facts and report them fairly and accurately so that the public can understand the world and make informed decisions about how try to control their own fates. Activists are advocates, and advocates are by definition not interested in allowing people to acquire a balanced set of facts, only those that support their agendas. An activist is by definition incapable of ethical, competent or responsible journalism. A reporter who is an activist is not a reporter at all, but a distorter. News distorted by an activist with an agenda is propaganda.
- “Democracy dies in darkness” is a neutral position that acknowledges that democracies need as much information and transparency as possible to survive. Hannah-Jones manages to misconstrue the assertion to equate “darkness” with not accepting political activist cant.
- How can methods of reporting be objective when what is being reported is determined by a reporters’ activist agenda? This is gibberish.
- “And I don’t know how you can be fair and accurate if you pretend publicly that you have no feelings about something that you clearly do.” The only feelings an ethical and trustworthy reporter should have is a dedication to the objective truth and reporting facts wherever they lead. As with all professionals, a journalist is trustworthy only if she understands that her duty is to the public, not her own political beliefs and objectives.
- Thus Hannah-Jones is a tenured professor of a subject she doesn’t comprehend, along with integrity, conflicts of interest, professionalism and trust.
Great hire, Howard!
I learned about this head-exploding interview from Prof. Turley, whom I clearly released from the Ethics Alarms penalty box not a second too soon. He wrote in part,
“Reporters are now claiming greater and greater license to frame news to illustrate the truth as they see it. They nod to the need for fairness but then note that they have to tell the truth about society and politics as they see it. They then seek to frame rather than report the news. Hannah-Jones is a great example of how this new journalism quickly becomes raw advocacy.”
And she will be teaching students that this is what journalism is supposed to be. He continued,
” What is saddening is the silence of most journalism professors as they watch their profession just become a new form of advocacy. Few want to risk the professional attacks in opposing figures like Hannah-Jones. However, this movement is killing their profession. Polls show trust in the media at an all-time low with less than 20 percent of citizens trusting television or print media. Yet, reporters and academics continue to destroy the core principles that sustain journalism and ultimately the role of a free press in our society.”
Ultimately, this revolting development is punishment for our society extolling journalists as if they possess any special ability, intelligence or perception. Most of them don’t. Hannah-Jones certainly doesn’t. Nothing about journalism conveys special expertise regarding government, public policy, and certainly not character and ethics. Nonetheless, these arrogant, largely mediocre individuals who lacked the ability to perform more challenging tasks are convinced that they are endowed with the qualifications to decide what the public should know and in what framework they should know about it, if at all.
That conclusion alone demonstrates their intellectual and ethical deficits.