Is Opinion different than reporting news – certainly. The Fireside Post is all about opinion – and we clarify our bias in “Who Are These Guys.” In terms of ‘acting independently’ we are the champions. We have no affiliations other than the United Methodist Church – and only one of us participates there. What might be other influences?
We have invested our life in volunteer work with social service agencies. We have sat or boards and drove the van for meals on wheels – delivering balanced meals to the elderly and infirm. We have volunteered at art festivals and galleries. We have promoted higher education and have worked on local tax committees. We have worked to promote public safety in both police and fire protection. We have worked at both the top and bottom of organizations. We have worked and we have raised children. We have participated in the PTA.
Are we biased? Absolutely. Life brings bias. Do we act independently – we believe we do.
By clarifying our bias, by being up front with our experience, by stating clearly that we support social justice, by holding to a position of fiscal responsibility, we challenge the world of ideas.
While we claim to be impartial to political party, we are clearly taking positions in the 2008 election. We believe in the American version of democracy – and we believe we should be bold and courageous in supporting public discourse.
The following is from the Society of Professional Journalists:
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.
—Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
— Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
— Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
— Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
— Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
— Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.