The culture wars and the news: a high-toned discussion

January 15, 2021 • 1:00 pm

Here’s a discussion organized by, well, I’m not sure, but you can see the announcement here. It features several people you’ve heard of, and I listened to about half of it yesterday before tasks called me away. The whole thing is 1.5 hours long, and if you click on the screenshot below, it will take you to the video on YouTube.  The question at issue:

Are we watching freedom of speech slip away in service of political correctness, collective guilt and a fear of being bullied and canceled for expressing an opposing or different view?

And the YouTube notes:

The video of our first event is available for your viewing: “Are Culture Wars Co-opting the Mainstream Narrative?”

Should journalists live in fear of being canceled or bullied for expressing an opposing or different view from their colleagues? Are our media institutions being taken over by a deeply ideological “woke” cohort?

Three of our speakers, Bari WeissKatie Herzog and Suzanne Moore, shared deeply personal stories about this topic during our first event. They have been employed in newsrooms ranging from local newspapers to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian. What they have in common is what they describe as increasing illiberal climate in newsrooms.

Our fourth speaker, Jonathan Haidt, is one of the world’s leading experts in moral psychology and he helped put all of this into a wider context.

Our Reflection Panel spoke to how their newsrooms address these challenges. In particular, they addressed the realities of managing newsrooms: e.g., trying to serve the wider audience, and the desire for more social activism in their newsrooms, especially among younger journalists. We had with us Phil Chetwynd (AFP), Mapi Mhlangu (previously eNCA) and Francesca Unsworth (BBC)

The topic will surely be of interest to many readers, so have a listen. Bari Weiss, the first panelist to speak, will get you hooked on the rest of the discussion. There is not much chaff here.

9 thoughts on “The culture wars and the news: a high-toned discussion

    1. I wonder, do they talk about guns?
      “National Rifle Association says it has filed bankruptcy petitions in U.S. court“

  1. In an almost offhand comment toward the end, Bari Weiss explained exactly what is happening in the
    formerly Liberal media. “Reporting used to be a blue-collar job”. she mused, and suggested the
    future of news media would be improved if applicants for newspaper jobs didn’t need to have a fancy college degree. Aha! So, the existence of academic “Communications” departments which offer degrees—and the implementation of these degrees as a credential—is the source of the rot. Maybe these departments have been colonized by postmodernism, critical theory, and the rest of our modern
    mock-academic confections.

    1. It could mean that, but she may also have meant that they share sort of a class affinity and are too chummy with the people they’re covering, or both.

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