But the practical effect of these rules is the same: To paint a portrait of journalists who never reach their own conclusions about the issues they cover.
I’m sorry to be so blunt, but if you believe that, you’re an idiot.
Like anybody else with a functioning brain, we think about the things we learn and form our own judgments about them. (See my disclosures page to read about mine.) What makes us journalists is not some magical firewall in our heads that blocks after-hours contemplation of our reporting, but a willingness to look for evidence that disproves whatever theory we’ve been working on in a story. We fail our obligation to the truth not by developing opinions, but by letting them divert our research.
Or as GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram asked in an astute post about the AP’s inane social-media rules: ”Why must reporters pretend to be automatons?”