journalistic sin

The journalistic sin that festers in open sight

Guest Post: Lushington D. Brady
Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. After working as a freelance music journalist, auto worker, railway worker, taxi driver, small business owner, volunteer firefighter and graphic designer, Lushington Dalrymple Brady decided he finally had an interesting enough resume to be a writer. Miraculously, he survived university Humanities departments with both his critical faculties intact and a healthy disdain for Marxism. He blogs at A Devil’s Curmudgeon. Lushington D. Brady is a pseudonym, obviously.


When I was studying journalism, it was drummed into us that mixing opinion and reporting was a cardinal sin. Journalism academic Stephen Lamble ruled that, “journalists should clearly distinguish between news, comment and opinion”.

Yet one flagrant example of this journalistic sin occurs almost daily in media right across the ideological spectrum. That this particular and glaring breach of journalistic good practice is allowed to fester in open sight is, I suspect, because almost everyone – journalists and audiences alike – has been conditioned to simply accept it as a received truth.

News is what journalists commonly call “hard news” – the “just the facts” of who, what, when, where, why and how. In print, hard news is usually the front pages of the paper. News reporting is supposed to strictly report the facts without inserting the reporter’s opinions. “There should be no clues in a journalist’s work,” says Lamble, “about her or his political leaning”

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