This is why transparency is should be a new value for journalism

Look, I have no problem with reporters having opinions. I just wish they were up front about it.

Witness a veteran NPR political reporter telling a crowd at a radio event in Grand Rapids, Michigan (my home town, BTW) that Barack Obama “doesn’t have that thing in him that needs to be loved.” This, Don Gonyea said, is what sets President-elect Barack Obama apart from other politicians.

“He ran a remarkable and disciplined campaign. It was a wonder to behold,” Gonyea said.

Obama’s speeches in Iowa were like hymns, he said.

Obama “never got rattled by anything,” Gonyea said.

Gosh, I wonder if his worship of the candidate impacted his reporting. Nah, he’s a professional.


(tip via Romenesko)


  1. I dunno, my experience listening to Gonyea is that when he was following George Bush around (for 8 years) he was objective, sometimes very complimentary of the still-President. When he covered Detroit for years he was the absolute best at telling a complicated story in a clear way.

    So if he says the campaign was “a wonder to behold,” my take-away is that is, in itself, REPORTING, and should NOT be mistaken for worship. I think he’s been very fair during his coverage…reporting the highs and the lows.

    Those who aren’t big Obama fans have a little trouble with reporting that suggests that Obama is a once-in-a-lifetime leader/politician. I think he may well be, and describing his speeches as “like hymns” may well just be crystal-clear, evocative reporting. Not passing off an opinion, but offering an objective, but poetic image that takes you into the experience.

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