Most journalists I’ve met like to believe they are objective and balanced in reporting all the news fit to print. This mindset is so deeply ingrained and fiercely protected that reporters just take it for granted — of course they’re objective.
In reality, however, writers, editors and publishers are just people, which means they have special concerns, interests, passions and blinders. They all come with a history and set of beliefs that guide and shape the kinds of questions they ask, the particular stories they find important and the sorts of people they view as compelling and trustworthy.
I began my career in journalism 16 years ago and I can tell you each newsroom comes with challenges and limitations. I’ve been ordered to drop investigative stories on influential businesses so as not to offend key advertisers. I’ve been told to soften the tone so as to pacify readers, and I’ve been forced to bury stories because they may reflect badly on prominent people or organizations.
Media outlets are organizations run by people with certain priorities and perspectives — there’s no getting around this.
At Alaska Watchman we definitely have certain beliefs and concerns, which guide what we find newsworthy and how we go about reporting.
In particular, we believe that America’s historic Judeo-Christian heritage is a treasure to be preserved and handed down to future generations. We hold that the natural law and long-standing universal forms of morality should guide our private and public lives.
From this flows our belief that people have a right to practice their faith. This means freedom to worship but also freedom to put faith into action when raising and educating children, serving the poor, running businesses and engaging the pressing issues of our time. Faith is not merely a private affair. To restrict it as such violates a fundamental right to live in accord with our deepest convictions.
“This requires that society defend human life and dignity wherever it is threatened.”
We also believe in the sanctity of all human life, from the moment of conception to its natural end. This requires that society defend human life and dignity wherever it is threatened.
We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of any enduring culture and the natural means by which societies grow and flourish from one generation to the next. Families must be cherished and protected and parental rights upheld.
Let’s be clear, just because we affirm certain core beliefs, this does not mean we are willing to fudge the facts or massage the truth when it comes to reporting. One may disagree with our decision to publish certain articles or to cover certain events, but we are committed to ensuring that the facts are beyond reproach and that events are truthfully recounted. If we succeed in this, we will be doing our job.
We look forward to serving you in the years ahead. In doing so, we ask that you partner with us. We need Alaskans across the state to alert us to concerns and challenges, as well as to joys and triumphs that need celebrating. Our hope is to have eyes and ears in every corner of the state. We can’t promise to get to every story, but we will do our best. If you have a news tip, please email us at email@example.com.