Journalism and The View From Nowhere

The View From NowhereInteresting self-created Q&A found on Jay Rosen’s PressThink:

Q. You’ve been using this phrase, “the view from nowhere,” for a while

A. Yeah, since 2003…

Q. So what do you mean by it?

A. Three things. In pro journalism, American style, the View from Nowhere is a bid for trust that advertises the viewlessness of the news producer. Frequently it places the journalist between polarized extremes, and calls that neither-nor position “impartial.” Second, it’s a means of defense against a style of criticism that is fully anticipated: charges of bias originating in partisan politics and the two-party system. Third: it’s an attempt to secure a kind of universal legitimacy that is implicitly denied to those who stake out positions or betray a point of view. American journalists have almost a lust for the View from Nowhere because they think it has more authority than any other possible stance.

Q. Well, does it?

A. What authority there is in the position of viewlessness is unearned—like the snooty guy who, when challenged, says, “Madam, I have a PhD.” In journalism, real authority starts with reporting. Knowing your stuff, mastering your beat, being right on the facts, digging under the surface of things, calling around to find out what happened, verifying what you heard. “I’m there, you’re not, let me tell you about it.” Illuminating a murky situation because you understand it better than almost anyone. Doing the work! Having a track record, a reputation for reliability is part of it, too. But that comes from doing the work …

Read More: Jay Rosen’s PressThink

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  • http://twitter.com/alizardx A.Lizard

    “Objective journalism is a pompous contradiction in terms.” Hunter S. Thompson

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