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Read this: Whose truth is it anyway?

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Whose truth is it anyway?…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio Four Seasons job to tell the truth to sit on the fence and what is older and younger Jonas clash over what the truth actually is some of America's biggest newsrooms have been by these questions in the last few weeks with huge public rebellions at the New York Times the Wall Street Journal and others here in the UK editors have been scratching their heads over how to be impartial on an issue like black lives matter when journalists are tweeting at their opinions for all to see and then there is a question of whether it might ever be appropriate to say that Donald Trump has said something racist these are topics truth impartiality free speech and I'm enjoyed by some huge names Rachel cork is the editor of ITV News which has left many outlets seen huge audience numbers during the

Not least it's very widely praised coverage on the situation in care homes at Rachel congratulations on that coverage and what are you leaving on today and why don't know thank you for joining us on the show is here resin is a columnist for the Guardian and the author of we need new stories challenging the toxic myths behind age of Discontent nursery welcome to the show and you spent working in private equity before journalism in the private sector trade are thinking of making the leap into journalism.

What's your advice for them to stay as long as you can in private equity if you do not have private wealth because you cannot make it in journalism these days with the private wealth or partner support.

Creating synthetic Lee my own trust fund to get into journalism.

That's my advice decade also a prolific Twitter Andrew welcome in recent days.

You've changed your Twitter profile picture to a story in the Daily Mail about the BBC dropping the engineer show you've also tweeted to say 1.1 million colours that BBC2 offered you late afternoon slot but you said no and this looks to me like someone who's negotiating in public BBC say there in talk to you about an issue series on BBC One it's all very confusing we cleared up.

Please.

Are you still in discussion with the BBC about your oh yes, are you and talk to you later broadcasters.

Yes, so you'll be secret isn't necessary over just like would have been cancelled.

Not necessarily ok and if you're getting married in a few weeks time you will have the engineer shall we leave again and no but I'm not getting mad over the pond and speak to Tom rosenstiel is executive director of the esteemed American press Institute and co-author of the elements of journalism one of the five essential books on John according to the Wall Street Journal now in it's third edition time welcome to the show in a column for the New York Times last month Ben Smith the format does BuzzFeed news editor wrote America's biggest newsrooms are trying to find common ground between a tradition in which reporting is neutral and journalist who believe the fairest on issues from Race 2 Donald Trump requires clear calls.

That's awesome holding thought for today.

Just before we get into that distinction and surveys some of the reason Evans from America so James Bennet in effect the opinion editor of The New York Times resigned after a few.

The publication of a column Barry White centres the New York Times resigned with a strongly worded letter saying the Twitter was not anything the paper at the Wall Street Journal 280 star from The Newsroom number sign a letter to the publisher saying that the opinion section was getting X Factor wrong and jeopardizing reporters the opinion section responded correctly attacking as a progressive cancel culture and there are other is what Tom rosenstiel is actually going on objectivity subjectivity and objectivity came from social science into migrated into journalism in the 1920s in the United States it was never intended to mean neutrality.

It was intended as it is in social science to me at that Germans would use objective.

Transparent and repeatable methods of reporting so the people could trust so the reporting would be more accurate one of the medicines for this actually was a major study done by Walter lippmann and control of coverage of the New York Times of the Russian Revolution and Morrison Lipman said that there was unconscious bias in the coverage of the Times about the Russian Revolution that will transform not even for a more scientific spirit to journalism and in fact the steps in this which seemed very crude to us today or so, you know where the reporter was who wrote the story and by lines, so you know who the more transparent.

How much more serious bad idea has been transmogrified and even then Smith doesn't understand it because he thinks that the tradition in journalism objectivity is he doesn't understand what object every wasn't he said there's a difference between a book which is usually popular and justifiably so you write in a book that journeys and first obligation is to the truth.

What is the truth? So what we mean by that? We call a practical truth the best of tenable version of the truth that you can arrive at day as Christine has put it because new facts will come tomorrow, but it is not simply it is not adequate to simply report facts and say that's as far as you can go for instance.

It's a fat with the president said x y z.

United States but we need to know whether those what he said is accurate enough if it's inaccurate whether he knows it's inaccurate and that's it.

It's actually more than that.

It's ok.

If you give me directions to delay and there is a difference is there between true facts and opinions and can be true but it had to be true in some packs or not if you if there's car accident you want to know how many people died that's an important fact well, the car was yellow or yellow green probably a less important facts, so it's important that recognise I start with the Foundation of thanks.

I need to get those right, but I need to the requires something more than simply a collection of facts and by the way, this is not a new argument.

We had this idea in their twenties in the 1940s.

There was an important Commission in the United States

Call are the halogens commission report on the responsibilities of a free press and it said that it is not enough that we need to report the truth about the facts.

So that would be worth having in the United States is an existential debate that comes and goes at moments of doubt particularly about the about the future of democracy and can I ask you about at the assertion for example and I'm not endorsing this year, but it's Donald Trump is a racist is that a matter of fact a matter of opinion you can say quite accurately and without a lot of dispute Donald Trump said certain things those things are racist or those things are associated with racism or th.

Now what was his motive? What is in his heart that is actually hardest thing to know right and you can do deep reporting on that you can view his blog, but know if it's a hard thing to know for sure so I think you can certainly say that that is that these statements are racist what he's doing is infringing racism.

Is he a racist well? You could probably make a case.

Yes, if you said enough things that are racist that that can you been ok? Thank you very much indeed for your time.

Let's put some of this to my expert panel.

Rachel corp your the editor of ITV news and in this country broadcast Media is regulated by off and required to be impartial and still touch that they're just have the job of enforcing this everyday.

Can you explain what you think the differences between impartiality objectivity?

Yeah, I think I don't know what I'm said.

I'm not sure that we as new provided should be judging so it's not for us to declare.

Whether Trump is a racist but refuses language.

That's inflammatory and anyway and that is deemed racist, then we should highlight that and leave us to make up up there minded but I think you can stay in posh.

We have to anyway, but I don't think that should be a problem for journalist.

We shouldn't confuse a possibility though.

We've not been able to have an opinion very much specialists in particular will have opinions but they will be impartial and informed and and based on fact that I wouldn't like to get to a stage where we can't have an opinion because that's the reason to have their take which is based on their experience but I think I think balance is a very interesting thing because obviously we should be striving for balance of everything we do.

Don't think we should start creating false balance or looking for vans in every single story where perhaps it's not proportionate if we're doing one of our investigations into into racism quite a lot of in there in the last 9 months has been quite a while priority.

I don't look for a racist you to balance the anti-racist foods that were looking for it that doesn't mean with an imbalance or it's just that sometimes balance can be a bit of a false Avenue go down and award-winning columnist and sis you're not a news reporter.

What to use the difference between those two positions news reporters have to go out there and unearth a fact or string a series of fact into a single narrative of opinion is to reflect a discourse, but we're not under a fact in my view the difference between opinion and

Reporting extract facts and brexit for the consumer and opinion about to come to the conclusion of you the world that we live in reporting to the IRS to reporting a header column, so sent you seek out facts and expertise to corroborate claims check against opposing views and so on those two processes are going to that so I personally do I would say I was a 80% of my columns are particularly more recently.

There is space.

I thinking about your writing for polemical writings, but I think is valuable, but there are times of heightened social anxiety.

I think reported columns are the priority and the second process is actually go through a lot of rigorous testing on the part of editors and fact-checking and even the links I put into opinion pieces I checked by my editors.

This view that opinion writing it's a sort of wild west wherever they want and there's no brakes all the Guardian I do and then there's the kicking around the logic of an opinion piece that I go through with my with my editors and then in editing stage with some editors on facts and it's clear how you would go about checking if a fact is true make all such evidence go to the processes.

You just been describing.

How do you check if it's true? I think they're describing this true or not objectively valid opinions are subjective opinion is that you have a person on the world.

I think the answer to your question, I refreeze it is that you test the argument of your opinion opinion opinion columns, I think the best thing in the world, but they also to make a coherent argument about the world and the way to test that argument together is the prince of reporting whether you're meant to be cool adjectives neutral distant or whether you're meant to make clear moral calls when you join the Paisley Daily Express in 1971 to what's the prevailing idea of an ideal of a reporter back then someone who was in that first school if you like call distant neutral a spectator rather than a participant if you like, what was it to be a report about them to you?

Well, I was expected because I was super hard as a part-time cricket, so I don't think any of the issues.

You've been talking about we really much on my mind my main job was to report the match get them to make sure that the deadline who was the ruler reporting well.

I'm just coming back to the conversation.

You've been having a colonist you entirely entitled to call Donald Trump if that's what you believe.

I think it would help your column and rely on you taking if you could assemble the facts that help to prove your claim because there are too many British journalism.

They're pretty much factory zones and just done a racist if your own opinion columnists, it's an opinion.

Why not if that's what you believe you are a newspaper writing editorials the same goes as well the newspaper should have an editorial review on whether the president of the United States is a racist not if you run into the news pages, I would say.

You'd rather the news pages is to be as active in I would put accuracy I heard of Truth or even impartiality or balance your job is to be accurate in your reporting to the facts as you see them and get them and to let you readers make up their minds because you're not stupid.

They can make up their minds as well as I'm not stupid.

They can make up the weather is racist or not and Horses for courses different things some journalists at the BBC iTV have a legal obligation to be impartial in to show balance.

That's been explained already newspapers.

Don't know whether you're the song of the times of the Financial Times as a reporter you have an obligation to be accurate and to report all the facts that are relevant and the context to that has made a lot.

Of late as you may know you mentioned impossibility can I apply that to your experience of being interviewed interviewed at politician and it was a complete car crash for them in a few of those exist on YouTube does impartiality that you ought to reduce all the other parties to the same state of humiliation is often in the hands of the politicians themselves because that depends on how well prepared for the subject.

They are have they given any thought and preparation to the kinds of questions to be asked how big is our job ever to humiliate politicians as I say you can do it themselves our job is to be robust regardless of who they are and regardless of their own opinions meme approaches to find out what you believed and then take the exact position and use that to interrogate you to see whether what you believe in stands up to the interrogation.

Humiliate the job is to try and hold people to account for those photos decided.

What was the station is saying has accuracy as fact that has no obligation to be impartial is it possible to be impartial if one side is willing to put someone at the other side isn't so I'm thinking of you pre-election interviews when you go out every day except Boris Johnson obviously that was that was some people on Twitter which is not always seem to think that I had the part of Dragoon Boris Johnson into the studio and force them to an interview Mr Johnson political calculation there is a bigger risk to give the interview not to give the interview them to give the interview make up their own minds about Mr Johnson we can force them in but I think what Mrs Johnson has done by that is that is pretty much killed these interviews now and

Campaign because no one is not no leader will not agree to an interview and less we're able to say we've got everybody lined up and it's in the nature of election campaigns because of the competing demands of people time that you never really want to say everybody's lined up, so I think he may have done not just a disservice to our particular election coverage team manager service election coverage in elections to come The Newsroom revolt.

That was seeing in America open conflict if not Civil War these were barely imaginable and I imagine when you started it Sunday Times in 1983 and today at spectator writers like rod liddle autarky can be very controversial if a spectator journalist spectator journalists and their Disapproval or something.

That's a rod with written In The Spectator magazine.

Would you expect as a chairman that Fraser Nelson the editor discipline that younger journalist or whoever it was the tweeted their disapproval?

It would be a matter for the editor because he's control of the editorial staff.

Not me, but I wouldn't expect him to I mean we run colours directly contradict other call Miss in the same edition of the word little rubbish last week.

I have no problem with that at all.

It's a free world if they try to influence the editor on whether or not he should employ a riddle that I should be free to say what they think about the colonists in the content of The Spectator we are seeing this for knowing that we specialise social media and to some extent especially on on Twitter of a young age and it's not always who are more willing to speak out now then before what is that you think?

I think the social media angle is a slight red herring here.

I heard introduction saying that social media has exposed a lot of internal exist anyway for a long time and social media is just sometimes but they're Express internally on internal slack channels until messaging channels and there's eight I think between people who do things the old way we were not accustomed to getting feedback from audience member comments and getting feedback on your writing.

That much closer to the product and has ways of giving you feedback and part of that is the people within a building can also give feedback to others who they think are some things that are incorrect or not fat cheque or actually dangerous other people in society, so I think that it's just about the walls between the Old Guard of the new garden The Old Guard can be your mindset about how where we sit because of the audience and how we take feedback from other people in the building of the newspaper.

Are you back from our readers and viewers to the big budget encourage younger turn the speaker that I think that this is where is relevant because there is more expression of opinion.

So many more ways for people to express themselves the people don't feel like they're in the minority anymore.

They feel like the universe people out there before anti-establishment younger people finding each other ok great record.

How many of your journeys in your Newsroom feel strongly about issues like black lives matter one to attend public protests and make those use clear online, but I couldn't tell you.

I think we should stop looking at the class here.

I think it's fantastic that young people are wanting to come into journalism still and I think it's fantastic that they come with passion and care about issues.

One of the good things about digital and social media we now or have a lot of different outlets so I can put one thing on News at Ten and another thing on our use digital service and that means that people can channel the interest that but I think one of the most powerful things for anything unless isn't getting content out and it's getting young people to see the ITV News impartial contacts.

We've been doing a lot of stories on issues that matter to our young journalists such as racism such as climate change as a gay rights and it's just all about Talent and enthusiasm and passion in terms of expressing opinions.

I think I think the castle basement been talking about about I'm fine with opinion it just needs to be grounded in fats and a longer specialism, but I think it's not controversial.

Anti-racist at the moment so long as you're keeping it all along capsuline.

There's a long read recently on what you call the myth of the free speech crisis.

Why is it a miss it because we don't account for power that especially in the British Media to assume that everyone has access to the same means of speech and therefore or speech is free is completely and the way we can I see the way you talk about free speech and a bit Media because we assume that everyone has the same access the same platforms and there is huge and balance and the British Media to class people were privately educated Oxbridge and who are broadly centrist all right way and that's when people take it to the marketplace of ideas is extremely exclusive access to it.

Fig leaf infused debates with us have a phobia racism and xenophobia and once these ideas are challenged by told you take it to the media is a very small Kartel let me I think it's a load of nonsense the factors and it's not been out what everyone is talking about we know seen the arrival of campus culture into the media instead of open Debate and safety isn't receiving this idea that I have a right to be shielded from opinions that I might find objectionable no need I have a right if I find the subject double I'm going to mount a kind of Jacobean Jacobean revenge against people who have that when I'm going to take your career away from you.

I'm going to destroy your reputation.

I'm going to bring you.

Seen that happen again and again on both sides of the Atlantic computer l'anima sedatives and management in places like the New York Times of arrival at happened.

It's very dangerous different form in the 60s is happening now.

It will get worse before it's better and we've seen decent careers destroyed for the voice of Sergei of reasons.

Why people disagree with anything I say anything other people say that the idea that they want to close you down and destroy your career is well it brings a nasty things into imedia.

Doesn't have to be if you were just can't people being cancelled in the British Media but I know it would be great if I drink and I send me know I've lost my job.

No one's been kicked out of their of their work if I have an error.

James Bennett and 5 Seconds To Go conversation, thank you very much.

Delete all of my dear friend called nursery manic Angela and Tom Rosenthal I'll see you sometime next week.


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