Is nonpartisan possible?

Last week we published a letter to the editor from Thomas Harris, a well-known figure in the PR world. Harris was upset by...

Last week we published a letter to the editor from Thomas Harris, a well-known figure in the PR world. Harris was upset by our media analysis on the 10th anniversary of Fox News, and maintained that this so-called purveyor of propaganda deserves nothing but derision. He is cancelling his PRWeek subscription, he told us, on this basis.

Never complain, never explain is my mantra. We cannot make all of the readers happy all of the time. But Harris' letter serves as a useful platform to discuss a trend that has been increasingly strange to experience as an editor.

One might think that PRWeek, as a business-to-business publication, would be generally exempt from accusations of political bias. OK, maybe that's naive. But one literally can't write anything about a political issue these days without being accused of harboring an agenda.

We get it from both sides - liberal and conservative, primarily the latter. But the Fox News story is a classic example. Objectively speaking, Fox News has had a major impact on the direction and influence of cable news. Whether or not one approves of the content, that is a fact. Our efforts to isolate its impact, rather than belabor its political slant (which is, however, written about in the piece), prompted Harris' ire. But within PRWeek's remit, I still maintain we took the right angle.

I would love to hear other opinions on this story - and on the wider issue at hand. Is it possible to separate media and politics, and should editors strive for objectivity when none is assumed by readers?

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