What do evangelical Christian journalists mean by ‘objectivity’?
The current issue of the Columbia Journalism review carries a story about the World Journalism Institute – an institution which "seeks to identify aspiring journalists who are Christians and help them become proficient and professional in their calling of journalism." The Institute’s original mission statement attracted some criticism and it’s not hard to understand why. If you believe that anything which contradicts the Bible is obviously untrue, then how will cope with the idea of journalistic objectivity?
The Bible condemns homosexuality so clearly that only the most shameless of those who twist Scripture can try to assert the practice’s biblical acceptability. Biblical objectivity means showing the evil of homosexuality; balancing such stories by giving equal time to gay activists is ungodly journalism.
Interestingly the World Journalism Institute’s Robert Case II says that it is America’s homosexuals who taught him how to go about setting things right:
We have created an evangelical ghetto, and so we’ve forfeited the right to speak to the mainstream media. For years, gay journalists were excluded from the mainstream newsrooms, and so they developed a strategy to mainstream themselves. Looking at how the gays have used their intelligence and their gifts and their talents to mainstream themselves would be a role model for us.
No doubt there are are some ‘secular humanist’ journalists who think that giving evangelical Christian perspectives equal coverage in the media is ‘unethical journalism.’
Is there a kind of journalistic objectivity which transcends the culture wars? Or do we all have to choose sides?