October 26, 2011

News about “World of Opera” host Lisa Simeone becoming an Occupy Wall Street spokesperson has renewed attention to questions that journalists have grappled with for years. Should journalists’ personal lives have any bearing on their work as journalists? And if you’re a journalist, should you give up certain rights?

It used to be that journalists wouldn’t post political signs in their front lawns. In an age where people are so accessible online, is it OK for journalists to post personal information and opinions? If they “like” one politician on Facebook, should they like them all?

These are important questions to ask, especially given that it’s gotten easier for the public to catch a glimpse of journalists’ work and lives. Some have said that “transparency is the new objectivity.” The challenge, of course, is figuring out just how transparent you want to be and how your audience will respond.

During a live chat, Jack Shafer shared his opinion on this topic and answered several questions from participants. You can replay the chat here:

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Mallary Tenore Tarpley is a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin’s Moody College of Communication and the associate director of UT’s Knight…
Mallary Tenore Tarpley

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