“Transparency Is The New Objectivity”

“… Anyone who claims objectivity should be willing to back that assertion up by letting us look at sources, disagreements, and the personal assumptions and values supposedly bracketed out of the report.

Objectivity without transparency increasingly will look like arrogance. And then foolishness. Why should we trust what one person — with the best of intentions — insists is true when we instead could have a web of evidence, ideas, and argument?

In short: Objectivity is a trust mechanism you rely on when your medium can’t do links. Now our medium can.”

– David Weinberger in Transparency Is The New Objectivity

Look at this National Geographic story on global fisheries. And this one on Arab Christians. And this one on Gabon’s new national parks. And this one on ancient Persia. Or virtually any article ever posted at ngm.com. Feature story after feature story—thousands upon thousands of words—and not a single article includes links that let us “look at sources, disagreements, and the personal assumptions and values supposedly bracketed out of the report.” (If such linked stories do exist, please let us know in the comments, below.)

Why this glaring omission—especially when the credibility of the Society is at stake?

We respectfully submit that it’s time to add the missing links.

NO NEW POSTS will be published here after February 6, 2014. THIS IS WHY.