You've written that The View From Nowhere is, in part, a defense mechanism against charges of bias originating in partisan politics. If you won't be invoking it, what will your defense be when those charges happen?
There are two answers to that. 1) We told you where we're coming from. 2) High standards of verification. You need both.
Is "we told you where we're coming from" referring to the organization itself, or the journalists it publishes, or both?
Both. Like I said: NewCo will not present itself as the Voice of God. Neither will its contributors. NewCo will not always be in harmony with itself, either. It will be messier than that.
And what about individual editors? Should we know where they are coming from too?
Editors? I haven't thought about that yet. Maybe. See here. It says: "Editor: Joel Lovell." And the name is hyperlinked. But click the link at it takes you to an email program. Maybe it should take you to a profile and the profile has a "where I'm coming from" section. Which could be anything. Doesn't have to be politics, you know?
One question I imagine you'll confront, whether explicitly or implicitly, is NewCo's relationship to the United States. Is "we're an American news organization" or "we're a global news organization" where it's coming from?
Great question. Totally relevant. Don't know yet.
What about ideological diversity? The View from Somewhere obviously permits it. You've said you'll have it. Is that because it is valuable in itself? Or is it just an incidental byproduct of hiring the best people you can?
This is something we should dig in on, so excuse me if my answer is a bit long. ... I have been a closer observer of diversity efforts within the American newsroom. And I could be wrong, but I think these efforts are founded on a contradiction.
The basic insight is correct: Since "news judgment" is judgment, the product is improved when there are multiple perspectives at the table ... But, if the people who are recruited to the newsroom because they add perspectives that might otherwise be overlooked are also taught that they should leave their politics at the door, or think like professional journalists rather than representatives or their community, or privilege something called "news values" over the priorities they had when they decided to become journalists, then these people are being given a fatally mixed message, if you see what I mean. They are valued for the perspective they bring, and then told that they should transcend that perspective.
Yes, I see what you mean.
I think we can do better than that.
I suppose one could say that that they should transcend their perspective in their writing, but that it should inform the stories they decide to pursue. I think that's what Bill Keller ought to say when he defends the NYT model, rather than acting as if impartiality can possibly extend to things like story choice and framing.