Wednesday June 3, 2020

Off Message: Is opinionated journalism so bad?

In the same-sex marriage referendum many journalists – far from remaining impartial – made it clear which side they supported. But is that so bad when ‘opinionated’ journalism fosters civic engagement?

7th June, 2015
Campaigners celebrate the Yes side’s victory in the same-sex marriage referendum. RTÉ was the only media organisation to insist on absolute impartiality. Picture: Getty

A journalist at RTÉ raised a very interesting question the other week. Was it right that many Irish journalists were, during the run-up to the marriage equality referendum, openly in favour of a Yes vote? Was it proper that so many individual journalists congratulated the Yes side on their victory?

His view was that it was not. Because, he said, journalists must always be seen as having an open door to everyone, no matter...

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