Politics

Putting the "D" in J-School

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I suggest you expand your premise, mister!

At this late date in our Un-American Century, it should come as no presses-stopper that media and academia lean left, and that the deadly combination of the two–journalism school–makes the angle more acute. Yet this graduation-day Daily Caller complaint from Medill overspender Brian Schneider rises above most right-of-center whingeings by conducting at least a modest amount of reporting:

At Medill, professors hammer into our heads that there is no room for bias in our reporting. However, it seems to me that what is preached by Medill isn't followed by some of those very preachers. […]

About 15 percent of the full-time Medill journalism faculty has contributed to Democrats running for political office (including three of my professors), according to a database of campaign contributions dating to 1990 on OpenSecrets.org. Dean John Lavine has contributed about $13,000 to Democrats over those several election cycles, including $4,300 to President Barack Obama since 2004. (To be fair, he did donate $250 to a Virginia Republican). Only one full-time Medill professor contributed exclusively to Republican causes.

In an e-mail response, Lavine said, "When I covered campaigns, I never gave money to a candidate, and I don't believe reporters should…. (While) pure objectivity is unobtainable; rigorous reporting and full disclosure is obtainable."

Lavine also suggested I "expand my premise about journalistic objectivity" and gave a response worthy of any media ethics class. He said he and his wife did support Obama, but quickly pointed out they also once supported a Republican for governor.  However, "supported" only means so much.  There's an old saying that goes, "Put your money where your mouth is," and Lavine's money hasn't gone to a Republican in 14 years, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Lavine's email talks about transparency and journalistic integrity, yet he did not respond to my question on the hypocrisy of those Medill's professors donating money to a political cause.

Whole thing here, link via Romenesko.