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If All Journalists Are Biased, Who Decides The Facts?

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Billy Dee
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Lewis Raven Wallace's book and podcast examine journalistic objectivity.

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.
 

Grant Holub-Moorman coordinates events and North Carolina outreach for WUNC, including a monthly trivia night. He is a founding member of Embodied and a former producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.