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Fairness

NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt gave a talk upon accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. In his televised speech, he spoke not only of his career in broadcast journalism but also gave his perspective on recent events and the importance of distinguishing between balanced and truthful coverage.

The idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in. That the sun sets in the west is a fact. Any contrary view does not deserve our time or attention. I know recent events assure that you won’t have to look far to find more current and relevant examples, I think you get my point.

Decisions to not give unsupported arguments equal time are not a dereliction of journalistic responsibility or some kind of an agenda. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Providing an open platform for misinformation, for anyone to come say whatever they want, especially when issues of public health and safety are at stake, can be quite dangerous.

Lester Holt, March 30, 2021

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