To me, this is not just a T-shirt thing; this goes way beyond posting a party bumper sticker on a car or placing a “vote him” placard in the compound of a journalist’s home.
Readers are sometimes hard people to deal with. If you are a writer they are fond of, they expect your information to always be accurate, fresh and unbiased. If you keep writing with those three in mind, then you are bound to build credibility and audience loyalty over time.
Sway off a little bit and you’re doomed… nobody will read your stuff anymore.
In a bid to reassure the public that their information is accurate, many media industries across the globe prevent their journalists from participating in political activities.
However, is this restriction fair? Does telling reporters not to wear T-shirts or even campaign really build readership?
The answer is “no.” If anything, a journalists’ article will still be read by as many critics as fans.
When a bad leader gets a stronghold on power, journalists suffer the most. So, by not allowing them to wear political party T-shirts, you are not just violating their right to free expression but most importantly, you are muzzling their ability to influence the election of a leader they believe will respect their rights.
OK. Journalists must avoid conflict of interest. For example, when they are scheduled for an interview with a campaigning politician who they don’t agree with, they shouldn’t go clad in another party’s T-shirt lest they get denied information.
However, when they are covering general campaigns, I think it’s not too arrogant to show off who they are supporting, just like the general populace. They shouldn’t be judged by what they do, but what they write. That’s the bottom-line.
A journalist’s job, as an investigator, puts him in a somewhat better position to know which candidate better suits to serve the society than others.
If journalists are publically silent on the issue of presidential candidates, then it cheats the public of having a credible voice that can guide them while they vote.
Reporters are also people with feelings; just like politicians who support a particular football club and are not shy to scream with happiness when a goal is scored, reporters too have those same sentiments.
Whether or not politicians should not support a particular football club for fear of not being voted by other clubs is, perhaps, a matter that can be brought up in support of restricting reporters’ public affiliation to parties.
Other than that, reporters should always be a source of light from which people find their own way.