Intellectual honesty

I don’t remember where I heard it first but one replacement for the discredited value of journalistic objectivity is intellectual honesty: reporting that which contradicts one’s own beliefs or hypotheses. That is the way to support one’s credibility.

Example from today’s NY Times: Dexter Filkins reports on his return to Iraq. Even as he promotes his book, The Forever War, he wonders whether the war could be over. There are plenty of caveats, as well their should be. But he also writes:

When I left Baghdad two years ago, the nation’s social fabric seemed too shredded to ever come together again. The very worst had lost its power to shock. To return now is to be jarred in the oddest way possible: by the normal, by the pleasant, even by hope. The questions are jarring, too. Is it really different now? Is this something like peace or victory? And, if so, for whom: the Americans or the Iraqis?