Interesting conflict or conflict of interest?

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Well, well, well. The election battle continues with Sky News’ Adam Boulton becoming the latest person to publically engage in a round of fisty cuffs.  The YouTube video of Boulton venting his frustrations towards Alistair Campbell has already racked up a whopping 207,000 views.

The editor was clearly allowing his own political persuasion to affect how he conducted himself in last night’s interview, but it begs the question…should journalists appear to be completely neutral?

Some would say yes, perhaps out of concern that the audience could be brainwashed by one journalist’s opinion. Come on. Credit where credit’s due – people can see right through this. We know that there are two sides (sometimes more) to every story and it would be no fun for the storytellers to have fence-shaped bottoms.

I accept, however, that last night’s outburst was a step too far and slightly unprofessional on Boulton’s part. What we look for in a news story will vary from person to person. For me, a quality piece of news reporting is one that is thought-provoking and honest. But perhaps not quite as honest as Sky News’ political helmsman.