A Northwestern University campus media group is ready to form a new version of Journolist (i.e., the group of pundits, reporters, and progressives who coordinated the news to direct public opinion).

Charles Rollet of the Northwestern Chronicle unveils an organization funded to to fairly cover the news, but which presses specific agenda items instead.

The Medill Equal Media Project, directed by Northwestern’s branch of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, is meant to cover LGBT communities and issues in the run-up to the presidential election. It is supposed to do so fairly and accurately, and is not intended to be an advocacy project.

Yet I cannot help but be skeptical of its objectivity, having read “[North Carolina] NC Equal Media,” a side blog of the Project which ran from Aug 21to 31, and covered two of the Project’s authors trip reporting in North Carolina.

I did not found it neutral, unsurprisingly. But a post titled “More than Both Sides” showed the project’s true colors more than any other. Read this paragraph from the blog (emphasis mine):

Surely, some may be wondering why we didn’t interview the homophobes and opponents of LGBT people. Isn’t it our responsibility as reporters to get all sides of the story? Not necessarily. The “both sides” argument is an old journalistic trope that needs to be crushed. We’re not trying to force a hackneyed dichotomy in our stories ….

The suppression of alternative points of view described in the NC Equal Media post is diametrically opposed to the stated objective of  its parent organization.   Camille Beredjick, the editor-in-chief of the Medill Equal Media Project, specifically described the following goal for the campus group: “To produce fair and accurate journalism that paints the full picture of what’s happening.”

The tone of the post is also of questionable journalistic merit.

In response to the criticism leveled at her “More than Both Sides” article by Rollet, author Julia Haskins writes:

We would never name-call or make anyone feel like their opinion isn’t respected.

“We would never name-call anyone”? Yet, her piece uses the derogatory term “homophobes” in discussing people who oppose specific progressive agenda items.

Yes, the North Carolina Media Group has truly crushed balanced reporting. Hopefully, the national group is paying attention.

Update:  We received this email just after noon today:

We posted a response days ago to the piece Charles wrote questioning our objectivity. Your claim that we “press specific agenda items” is incorrect, and we’ve explained why. Check out our reasoning and perhaps you’ll reconsider. I’m happy to talk this over with you directly if you like.


All best,

Camille Beredjick
Editor-in-Chief, Medill Equal Media Project