Can black journalists cover the Black Lives Matter movement objectively?

KPCC
| KPCC

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Is a partisan for the press to say black lives matter news rooms across the country are debating the role that journalists should be playing and particularly when it comes to talking about race in America the twenty sixteen conversation with NPR's code switch then Washington post reporter Wesley Lowery had this to say about the idea of objectivity I don't like the word when we talk about how to be objective we begin the conversation with a lot like we did begin the conversation with the lie that we don't have biases and that we don't receive the welterweights right I strive to be fair and that means I have to interrogate my own biases that fairness means I have to go out of my way to make sure I'm giving a fair critique hearing the people who I know I disagree with journalists at The New York Times revolted over an op ed which many said threatened black lives that same week the Pittsburgh post Gazette barred some of its black reporters from covering the protests over fears that they'd be quote too biased and on the other hand just yesterday the news organization Axios announced that its reporters can participate in protests and that the company fund would cover bail for any employee who is arrested some news rooms across the country appear to be changing fast what could that mean for journalism as a possible to be fair and transparent without being objective I'll tell you this is a conversation that the one eighteen is having a lot and we should note that we reached out to NPR whose standards and guidelines we have bye bye but they declined to take part in the program joining us is Ricardo Sandoval Palos public editor for PBS Ricardo welcome to when I thank you thank you for having me also here is Nicole Hannah Jones reporter for The New York Times magazine covering racial injustice the call welcome back thank you the call start with you in the past couple of weeks past two weeks we've seen several incidents involving newsrooms scrutinizing journalists of color over their inability to be objective here's that word again talk to us about some of those incidents well we saying really three major incidents and and who knows how many others where journalists haven't spoken out about them but we have the case in Pittsburgh and that was where of course to black journalists wonderful one photo journalists want to print journalists were taken off of the beat to be able to cover the protests of the black journalist had posted on social media images of trash everywhere of garbage everywhere and said oh look at you know these looters and then said actually it's it's a Kenny Chesney the end of a Kenny Chesney tail gate and I guess her bosses thought that that was inappropriate to pull her off of the coverage we still have no explanation about why the photo journalist who is also a a black journalists was pulled off of the coverage and then go ahead of well tell me about what happened at your paper the senator Tom cotton's op ed sure so we ran online and op ed written by Tom cotton that was basically calling out for the U. S. military to be imposed on cities and states where the governors did not want that help in order to put down a protest that they felt were violent there was a huge pushback amongst journalists at The New York Times a book of more than a thousand journalists signed a letter put forth by our our our union I'm saying we oppose that in a lot of journalists went and spoke online about it and it was for it was for two reasons one this this editorial did not go through the proper normal fact checking process that any thing that appears in the time should go through but we also felt you we were getting kind of free space to a sitting U. S. senator to suppress their free speech rights of Americans and that that platform should not be given over in that way yeah that this would have been a news story and as a new story it would have been fine but not to allow to be a newspaper and allow someone to talk about using the military to repress free speech I was too far for many of us a lot of journalists were upset about that I remember waking up that morning looking at Twitter and just seeing the operate also the opinion editor James Bennet he resigned on Sunday how significant is that part local I'm you know it's complicated I I've worked with James Bennett and I certainly don't want to speak on kind of internal personnel matters but do you think that was necessary in resigning I I think he made the decision that he felt he needed to make we certainly we as journalists at The New York Times wanted this to be taken seriously yeah and it appears that it

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