Objective Nonsense (part 16)

Dear Chris,
Where are you coming from?
Because your “View from Nowhere” gets fuzzier by the day…

Chris Johns

Chris Johns: “[Photographer Stephanie Sinclair] has no agenda. She does not judge. … Her photographs are honest. They reflect her insatiable curiosity. … Stephanie understands that others may want to pass judgment, but that is not her role. She photographs what she sees and provides the opportunity for insight. The rest is up to the reader.

In a world full of shrill voices and agendas, we at National Geographic are committed to an unbiased presentation of facts. … It’s what we’ve been doing for more than 120 years.” (source: Chris Johns’ Editors Note, February 2010)


Jay Rosen

Jay Rosen: “I could be wrong, but I think we are in the midst of shift in the system by which trust is sustained in professional journalism. David Weinberger tried to capture it with his phrase: transparency is the new objectivity. My version of that: it’s easier to trust in “here’s where I’m coming from” than the View from Nowhere. These are two different ways of bidding for the confidence of the users.

In the old way, one says: “I don’t have a horse in this race. I don’t have a view of the world that I’m defending. I’m just telling you the way it is, and you should accept it because I’ve done the work and I don’t have a stake in the outcome…”

In the newer way, the logic is different. “Look, I’m not going to pretend that I have no view. Instead, I am going to level with you about where I’m coming from on this. So factor that in when you evaluate my report. Because I’ve done the work and this is what I’ve concluded…”

If the View from Nowhere continues on, unchallenged, trust in the news media will probably continue to decline.” (source: “The View From Nowhere: Questions and Answers,” PressThink,  November 10, 2010)

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