If All Journalists Are Biased, Who Decides The Facts?

Jan 17, 2020

What does it mean for a black journalist to remain neutral when writing about police brutality? Can young reporters be objective in their coverage of climate change?  Soon after the 2016 election, while working at American Public Media’s Marketplace, Lewis Raven Wallace wrote a blogpost saying: “We must change what we are doing to adapt to a government that believes in ‘alternative facts’ and thrives on lies.”

Marketplace fired him for writing the article. In his new book and accompanying podcast, Wallace pulls back the curtain on journalism’s most prized totem, exposing who is excluded from objectivity and detailing the rich history of oppressed reporters writing from within the story. “The View from Somewhere: Undoing the Myth of Journalistic Objectivity” (University of Chicago Press/2019) celebrates the advantages and inevitability of subjectivity through historical examples ranging from LGBT weekly magazines during the AIDS crisis to the ways Black Lives Matter challenged journalists to distrust police reports. Host Frank Stasio asks Wallace about the difference between disinformation, bias, and subjectivity. Wallace is the co-founder of Press On and a freelance journalist based in Durham.