The “both sides” approach to journalism is bankrupt

The Intercept never pretended to report the news from some purportedly value-neutral and apolitical stance. We make our commitments clear.

If you believe that journalists should always cover the news by giving equal merit to “both sides” of an issue, there are plenty of centrist corporate-owned outlets for you to choose from.

But at The Intercept, we believe this so-called objective point of view is utterly bankrupt. Such journalism is a major contributor to today’s broken political system.

We are beset by white supremacists attacking the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overthrow an election. Climate deniers are still questioning science even as an apocalypse unfolds all around us. And the corporate media wants to keep reporting “both sides.”

There’s no middle ground between justice and injustice or truth and lies.

At The Intercept, we never pretend to be neutral — but we do get our facts straight. If anything, taking on the wealthy and powerful makes it even more important to nail down every detail in case they decide to retaliate.

As an Intercept reader, we know you value journalism that’s unafraid to take sides against government abuses and corporate wrongdoing. But we’re still $210,000 short of this month’s big fundraising goal. Can you make a donation today?

The Intercept’s reporters don't subscribe to the spurious convention of journalistic objectivity because there simply is no such thing as a purely objective “view from nowhere.”

At best, this kind of “both sides” journalism is an intellectually dishonest cop-out. At worst, it does the work of corrupt politicians for them by implicitly putting every issue in a “he said, she said” frame, where truth is simply one side of an argument between two partisan actors.

What animates The Intercept’s coverage is a commitment to justice. It’s the bright thread running through our core investigative reporting and our most characteristic political analysis. That includes everything from our reporting on criminal justice to the environment, public health, politics, national security, surveillance, and technology.

That’s our point of view, and we make no effort to pretend otherwise.

Our readers are a core part of the community that makes our hard-hitting investigative reporting possible. Will you make a donation and help us reach our September membership campaign goal of $500,000 by midnight tomorrow?


Thank you,
The Intercept team

First Look Institute is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (tax ID number 80-0951255).

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The Intercept is an award-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Our in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on surveillance, war, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media and more. Email is an important way for us to communicate with The Intercept’s readers, but if you’d like to stop hearing from us, click here to unsubscribe from all communications. Protecting freedom of the press has never been more important. Contribute now to support our independent journalism.

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