“Objectivity does not mean having no opinions.” James Poniewozikwrites the above in an article criticizing Washington Post for not letting its staff write their opinions about events in their Twitter accounts.
He says that everybody has an opinion about things that happen around them and this shows that they are able to comprehend and differ from animal. Washington Post’s purpose in their new policy is to not lose their credibility. This policy was made after RajuNarisetti, a managing editor in Washington Post, made some comments about some news on his own twitter account. The comment is about deficits and term limits. The first comment was about deficits and health care saying “We can incur all sorts of federal deficits for wars and what not. But we have to promise not to increase it by $1 for healthcare reform? Sad.” The second is about term limits, Narisetti tweeted “Sen Byrd (91) in hospital after he falls from ‘standing up too quickly’. How about term limits. Or retirement age. Or commonsense to prevail.” Poniewozik defends in his article that as long as the work that the journalist does is fair even though it is against the journalist’s opinion, there is nothing wrong in expressing their opinion.
Not only Washington Post but also Wall Street Journal put forth a similar policy about their employees using Twitter. Moreover, a journalist Octavia Nasr had to leave her job because of her commented on Ayatollah Fadlallah’s death in her own twitter account. In her twitter account she commented on Fadlallah’s death by saying “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadallah…One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”
In conclusion, journalists shouldn’t be forced to keep their opinion as a secret. People can still be fair reporters but have opinions as longs as these opinions are not extremely hurtful towards other people’s beliefs. Journalists have the right to express their own thoughts, just not in their work where they have to fair, not sided but in their personal account no one has to right to restrain them. Ironically, freedom of speech is being suppressed by newspapers because of this new twitter policy.