Journalists Should Of Course Vote

The good folks at Politico, including my old friend Jim VandeHei, have a lively discussion about whether reporters should vote. They point out that Washington Post executive editor Len Downie is famous for not voting in any elections at all. I think that stance is way too extreme.

To be sure, journalists have no business raising money for candidates, particularly if they cover politics. The picture is less clear for journalists who cover non-political topics like sports or review restaurants. Does it raise questions of ethics if these people are politically active on their own time? I am not so sure.

People don’t give up their first amendment rights as citizen just because they report the news. By choosing not to vote, reporters are giving themselves permission to shirk the civic responsibility that every election they castigate their fellow citizens for failing to do. It’s hypocritical to say the least.

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Filed under journalism, media, politics, Uncategorized, voting

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