Journalism 101 Continued
There is an update on the ongoing saga of the New York Times using an outspoken critic of Guantanamo to help write an article regarding prisoners held there. Andy Worthington, the writer, defends himself here.
My last post for background here.
It seems Mr. Worthington does not see his profound activism regarding Guantanamo as "outspoken." Writing a book about it called "The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison," doesn't promote a distinct outspoken point of view? Please.
The Daily Kos defends Worthington in the idea that it is so mainstream to believe the way Worthington does about Guantanamo, that is silly to expect the New York Times to have to point out Worthington's bias.
This is the thing. There is no argument that Worthington has a right to his point of view. He may even have points that many of us should consider, but all that is lost in the fact that you can't publish something as an objective piece of reporting when it is clearly not. The New York Times could have avoided the whole thing by simply pointing out Worthington's interest and activism in this story. Let the reader decide if it is objective or biased.
Let's not pretend that The New York Times hasn't done this kind of thing forever. But with the internet allowing anyone to background check, the New York Times finds itself having to actually be fair or be caught not being fair. It's as simple as that.
This isn't about Worthington's story. This isn't about Guantánamo. This is about honesty with the reader. It's long past time the New York Times learned this valuable lesson.