Sunday, October 7, 2012

Political neutrality in public

It's that time of year again, when pollsters and campaign volunteers knock on doors. I get asked many times in an election season if I'll "answer a few questions." I always say no. I don't put bumper stickers on my car or signs in my driveway. I am officially registered as an independent. And you won't ever, ever see me at a political rally.

This isn't because I disdain the political process. In fact, I'm quite passionate about it, so much so that I had to delete my Facebook account last year when I couldn't stop getting into heated debates with my in-laws. It's because I'm a journalist. Specifically, I'm the wire editor for a major city newspaper, and most of the paper's national election coverage is my responsibility. I cannot under any circumstances make my political leanings public if I am to maintain my journalistic credibility. Occasionally, I get an e-mail or call from a reader (usually angry and yelling), about how I am obviously bias and have an agenda to get so-and-so elected. But here's the thing: the comments are just about evenly split between those accusing me of being a liberal and those accusing me of being a conservative. I guess that means I'm doing my job right.

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