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The Sciences

Should Science Journalists Reveal Themselves?

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorNovember 9, 2010 7:03 PM


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In the past year various panel reports on "climategate" and the IPCC have called for greater "transparency" in climate science. But what about transparency in journalism? Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor and influential media blogger, has been calling for it for years and does so again in the wake of the Keith Olbermann suspension:

...self-respecting journalists should consider it an obligation to be transparent. Self-respecting news organizations should be honest with their communities and reveal the aggregate perspectives of their staffs. It's relevant. We have the ethic of journalism exactly reversed from what it should be: Journalists should be the most open, the most transparent, a model of honesty.

What about this? I assume Jarvis is referring to all journalists, not just political reporters. So I wonder how science journalists feel about this. Do they think it would be a good thing for journalism if they revealed who they voted for in an election? What about the reader? Do you feel this is necessary? Also, would your perception of an article on climate change be influenced by your knowledge of the political orientation of the reporter? What about me? Would you still respect me in the morning if I confessed that I was a Republican or Democrat? Would everything I write suddenly be filtered through your political lens?

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