Friday, April 19, 2019

How can indie journalists be "objective" when discussing their own careers; how should journalists handle "embedded" racism?



Journalists, by definition, must be objective and stand outside the perimeter of conflict, at least figuratively (even though they may wear steel pot helmets and need to be prepared for mace).
So it is difficult for journalists to talk about threats to their own work, most of all to independent journalism, objectively.

So it is when I talk about threats to user-generated-content, including the future or sustainability of this blog and others of mine, as well as YouTube channels.   I don’t need my operation to make a living, and some other journalists do (especially the popular independent YouTube channels by “conservatives”, so-to-speak). So that makes my bringing it up more sensitive.

Nevertheless, we must start connecting the dots on many fronts, and not be so hypnotized by the most “obvious” issue, net neutrality, and its activists.  We have to consider FOSTA, the EU copyright directive, and the whole panoply of debate over “hate speech” and “harmful content”, and reckon with the fact that the legal climate in the rest of the western world is less protective of free speech than is the US.  I concede that there are real sustainability problems leading to discussions of new ways we disseminate content and balance it with action or “skin in the game”.

I note this tweet by Nassim Nicholas Taleb that the idea of “entrepreneur” is overly vague.    But I have a problem with the idea of my identity being tied to such a narrow focus.  That didn’t work when I was a mainframe computer programmer.

This tweet by Ethan H Bellamy about the “scale” of politics is also relevant. 

There is also the problem that SJW’s are demanding that journalists join them in calling out “racists” (or other  -- phobias) or be shut down.  If you don’t overtly fight white supremacy , then you are one.  This is all “us v them” and combativeness, which members of some groups feel is justified.


NPR has a Code Switch podcast and article on the problem.    To care about the speaker’s character but not the targets of the speech (a particular incident in 2007 with Don Imus that I recall when substitute teaching) is said itself to be racist.
  
I almost never use these terms to characterize someone’s speech.

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