a year ago
nicolejb
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News Community Poll: Biased News & Gun Control
This week the news community has had several discussion on some pretty big issues. But some growing themes I’ve seen are centered around journalist integrity and gun control.
Both of which are issues right now. With BBC editing some of their documentary footage, many readers are become critical of their favorite British news platform.
When it comes to gun control, there is no shortage of news. Obama reached out and stated his opinions on the issue, and since the Oregon shooting there has been an new wave in the movement.

And then...This happened...

PEOPLE Editorial Director Jess Cagle used his Editor's Letter to address the frequency of mass shootings in America, and provided contact info for all the members of Congress to get people reaching out.
He created a mostly celebrity themed news magazine into a political statement. A magazine platform that does have an interest base, but remains pretty much out of the political scene.
They are People magazine. But when it comes down to it aren’t most magazines like this supposed to remain relatively unbiased?
So from this I have two questions for the news community.

Considering how you feel (personally) about gun control, would you consider publishing what this editor did?

Should magazines and news platforms be able to have political opinions?

Let me know what you all think :)
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@tessstevens, "Objective" in this context, means focused on the object, which is the reported matter, and not on the subject, which is the reporter and her or his opinion. So of course, no reporter can be completely objective, and this is not what the readers expect, but those who believe in objective journalism say that the tendency should be, to be as objective as possible. My journalistic writing teacher used to tell us, "Think many times before you write, 'I' "...
As long as the person giving the opinion is educational about their argument and they're in the position to be able to publically send their information, I'm all for it. (that means if a person just spouted, "guns suck cause people suck," then they're better off in their corner) The director did the first step to opening people's eyes and providing the reality that the news aren't always reliable, neither are the political outlooks shown on TV.
Biased opinions do tend to sway the audience in one direction, usually for, or against the author. Most companies wouldn't want to risk that, but if it gets them more popularity then why not; although it's just a very touchy subject. As for how I feel personally about it gun control, I would've posted it. I have a hard time believing that America is filled with so many evil people, that they all are psychopaths. I feel that most murders are brought on by impulse, and could be prevented if people had to actually try to get a weapon. America is known for how easy it is to get a gun, and it's a huge catalyst for someone who wants to commit murder. People need to realize that all of these mass shootings aren't normal.
I’m with @orenshani7 in some ways @TEssStevens. I think any platform that markets itself as “hard news” should work towards being as objective as possible. That being said, it’s really HARD, and to come forward and admit a side is not part of the job. interest based or one-sided I think should be more “editorial” and there is still a lot of value in that as well.
I think you made another good point too @JoeyNelson, that personally and ethically as an editor you might have to weigh how you feel about the issue, and what is best for your readership. I think if I had an issue I was really passionate about, I’d have a hard time (ethically) for not trying to do something about it.