The View From Nowhere

I left our Argo West Coast Blogger Summit in San Diego today extremely energized, motivated and ready for what’s next. But one of the things that stuck with me in a slightly uncomfortable way was the notion that there is still a fair amount of angst over what constitutes ‘opinion’ vs. ‘analysis’. And should anything but ‘straight reporting’ be considered verboten for you as a capital-J Journalist.

So, I get back to my hotel room and the first tweet I see is one from NYU professor Jay Rosen, who’s railed against what he considers to be the illusion of objectivity a good deal in the past as this concept of a “view from nowhere.” It seems, it’s come up again in a blog post written by Ed Yong titled, Should Science Journalists Take Sides?, in Discover Magazine.

Yong pulls no punches and leaves no doubt where he comes down on the debate,

If you are not actually providing any analysis, if you’re not effectively “taking a side”, then you are just a messenger, a middleman, a megaphone with ears. If that’s your idea of journalism, then my RSS reader is a journalist.

It’s about being knowledgeable enough to make a decent stab at uncovering the truth and presenting the outcomes of that quest to one’s readers, even if that outcome lies firmly on one side of a “debate”.

Yong’s post is a good read that obviously doesn’t put the issue to bed. But I do hope it adds just one more data point for you as you find your own style and voice.