Opinion in journalists’ blogs? It’s time

I asked the Latin American journalists who I’m working with on a distance-learning course whether journalists should be allowed to write with opinion on their blogs, even if the blog is hosted by their employing news organization. More than three dozen responded and almost all said yes.

It’s a matter of testing long-held conventions that are not holding up so well in the new digital ecosystem. And I applaud them for seeing this. As Patrick Thornton recently observed, it’s going to take some “radical thinking” for mainstream news organizations to survive and evolve.

For me, it comes down to intellectual honesty and transparency – as long as your journalism is solid. If the facts you report are accurate and the view you present is fair, then adding your analysis of the situation will only help the reader.

Of course, I feel this practice should be adopted in all media, not just blogs. Objective journalism, in many cases, is too clinical and sterile. It has become a case of he-said, she-said when most readers want to know “well, who’s right?”

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