4/17/2007

UK Press Union Boycotts Israeli Goods

The National Union of Journalists, a 40,000 member union in Britain, has voted to boycott Israeli goods in protest of their military policies in the occupied territories.

While I understand the mindset behind such an act, I'm surprised and a little disappointed that it is coming from a journalists union. Does such a policy not compromise the objective perspective reporters are supposed to have? A journalist union should not be in the business of taking one position over another in such a tangible way.

3 comments:

Michael Corcoran said...

Journalists in the UK, unlike most papers here, do not strive for objectivity. It is just not the way they do it there.

I think, subjectively, of course, it's better that way. Opinion writing is subject to the same scrutiny, but unlike many American papers, if a someone says the world is round, they needn't go to make sure to provide a counter balance.

Consider the horrifically dismal performance by the US media in the leadup to Iraq.

I think Michael Kinsley writing in the Washington Post made a decent point when he wrote:

"It might even be a healthy development for American newspapers to abandon the conceit of objectivity. This is not unknown territory. Most of the world's newspapers, in fact, already make no pretense of objectivity in the American sense. But readers of the good ones (such as the Guardian or the Financial Times of London) come away as well informed as the readers of any "objective" American newspaper. Another model, right here in America, is the newsmagazine, all of which produce much outstanding journalism with little pretense of objectivity.

Opinion journalism can be more honest than objective-style journalism, because it doesn't have to hide its point of view. All observations are subjective. Writers freed of artificial objectivity can try to determine the whole truth about their subject and then tell it whole to the world.

Their "objective" counterparts have to sort their subjective observations into two arbitrary piles: truths that are objective as well, and truths that are just an opinion. That second pile of truths cannot be published, except perhaps as a quote from someone else."

Michael Corcoran said...

"The fact is that I am a 49-year-old white female, a college-educated Texan. All of that affects the way I see the world. There's no way in hell that I'm going to see anything that a 15-year-old black high school dropout does. We all see the world from where we stand. Anybody who's ever interviewed five eyewitnesses to an automobile accident knows there's no such thing as objectivity."

Molly Ivins

Harfynn Teuport said...

I think it is disgusting what some people say and do after a national tragedy to get some mention in the media or to seem like they are somehow the greatest dark comedian of all time. After the Virginia Tech shooting when America was coming together as one under God to diminish hatred and spread peace, "some people" at Emerson College thought it would be funny to be less than curtious to a Korean student in the library, pretending to hold a hammer up to him and reinacting other photos of the shooter.

The creator of the emerson conservative newspaper wrote an article about ryan saucier's actions and I wrote on his blog and told him his opinion is being heard.

It is enfuriating to see such carelessness to common decency in some people. Do they not realize that their actions are not helpful to a country under seige of sadness? For example, this image I just found after searching "Virginia Tech Joke" on Google images. This is unbelievably stupid. It is a decent photoshopping job of the late author Kurt Vonnegut dressed in a shot up Virginia Tech sweatshirt literally fisting a woman with the word "Tsunami" written on a piece of paper and taped to her bussom.
This is dispicable. Why would anyone spend their time doing this? Going out of their way to make something so not funny.
And they've called the image "So it goes in easy."

America is destined for failure unless we help to stop these people from being able to do things like this. Read the Emerson conservative newspaper.