Free Speech. What does that mean for a journalist?

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Recently, Adam Shaw wrote an opinion article on Fox News comparing the pope to President Obama. Saying things such as:

“And just as President Obama has been a disappointment for America, Pope Francis will prove a disaster for the Catholic Church.”

“Just like President Obama loved apologizing for America, Pope Francis likes to apologize for the Catholic Church, thinking that the Church is at its best when it is passive and not offending anyone’s sensibilities.”

“Like Obama, Francis is unable to see the problems that are really endangering his people. Like Obama he mistakes the faithful for the enemy, the enemy for his friend, condescension for respect, socialism for justice and capitalism for tyranny.”

However, Shaw also worked for Catholic News Service. After writing this piece he was fired. But why? What about free speech?

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6 thoughts on “Free Speech. What does that mean for a journalist?

    Labels and free speech | beezernoid's Blog said:
    December 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    […] Free Speech. What does that mean for a journalist? (religionandjournalism.wordpress.com) […]

    beezernoid said:
    December 7, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Fired from the Cathloic news service? Sounds like may be a conflict of interest ? (sorta disparaging remarks about the pope)? You may speak freely, and your employer apparently may freely fire you.

      religionandjournalism responded:
      December 8, 2013 at 12:51 am

      The problem wasn’t that he was saying bad things about the pope. The problem was he used himself as the only source and therefore no longer remained objective. If he had used other sources/people to tell this story then I don’t think he would’ve been fired. I think freedom of speech is important but as a journalist it is more important to remain objective.

        beezernoid said:
        December 8, 2013 at 1:59 am

        Very enlightening. So Just curious, if he would have simply cited a source or two that had previously reported this, would that have saved him?

    religionandjournalism responded:
    December 8, 2013 at 2:48 am

    I don’t think it’s exactly that simple. I think part of the problem was that he was voicing his opinion on an issue that he also reported on and therefore was suppose to remain objective. Also, in an email the editor in chief of Catholic News Service sent said, “had Adam merely reported on the pope’s apostolic exhortation, even citing unflattering sources, there would have been no problem.” I understood that as saying that if he had done reporting that went against the pope then it would have been okay.

      beezernoid said:
      December 8, 2013 at 3:09 am

      I see, thank you again for your insight.

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