For Political Journalists, Neutrality Isn’t the Goal

It’s Objectivity, and Being on the Side of the Truth in an Intellectually Dishonest Era

Can we, and should we, ever really be neutral? In a new series, Zócalo explores the idea of neutrality—in politics, sports, gender, journalism, international law, and more. In this essay, political reporter Marisa Lagos argues that journalism’s goal isn’t neutrality.

My ability to be neutral as a political journalist depends on the intellectual honesty of the people—and the society—I cover.

But in an era when one side of the political spectrum is not always operating in good faith, and when people in my position are increasingly …

CalMatters Reporter Levi Sumagaysay | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

CalMatters Reporter Levi Sumagaysay

My Mom’s Work Ethic Sticks With Me

Levi Sumagaysay reports on the California economy for CalMatters. She previously worked at MarketWatch and the Mercury News. Before moderating the Zócalo/The James Irvine Foundation panel in Oakland, …

California Is Full of Sh–t

And So Is Zócalo’s Regular Columnist. Inspired by the Oscar-Nominated American Fiction, I’m Taking Over This Column to Deliver Hard Truths

I walked by Billy Hearst’s old headquarters in L.A.’s stinking downtown, chatting up the bums and streetwalkers. Turned out I was married to one of the gals back in ’02, …

Before Taylor and Travis, There Was Helen and John

She Was an Actress. He Was a Shortstop. We Can Learn From the Press Parade Around This 19th-Century Power Couple

Everyone who’s the least bit plugged into the NFL or popular culture, or has spent at least five minutes out of a coma the past few months, knows why the …

The Journalist Who Photographed the Burning Monk

The Man Behind an Iconic Vietnam War Image Captured ‘the Ugliest Events of Our Time’

While President John F. Kennedy was talking by phone with his brother, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, on the morning of Tuesday, June 12, 1963, he suddenly exclaimed: “Jesus …

How Do Pandemics End? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Do Pandemics End?

Argentina’s 19th-Century Cholera Outbreaks Show the Myth of a Single, Definitive Conclusion

The study of epidemics has routinely centered around what medical historian Charles Rosenberg calls a “dramaturgic structure”: a story of infection that builds to a climax of widespread illness and …