Should political journalists vote in an election?

Should journalists, especially political journalists, vote in an election? Are we revealing our political bias by marking our choice which we then expertly conceal when we write, edit, report?

On the other hand, can journalists be hermits who reside outside the thickets of the socio-political jungle we claim to bring home to readers, viewers, listeners? Should we be equidistant in pursuit of that mirage called objectivity? Or do we have a silly, exaggerated notion of ourselves and our jobs?

These are old questions that have asked and answered before.

H.R. Venkatesh of CNN-IBN faced them as he went into his polling booth in Bangalore this afternoon. As he blogged lived from his BlackBerry™:

12:30 pm: Voted! Walked into the school which is doubling up as a polling booth. The queue is not long at all, and before I know it, a man’s pushing me into one of the classrooms. Have to make a small confession here – this is my first time – and am momentarily confused. But the line of people sitting inside waives me through the scrutiny of ID, the dabbing of indelible ink and the stamping of a paper slip. The Electronic Voting Machine stumps me – I’d walked in without giving a thought to who I’d vote for and now I pause. Who do I vote for? I reject the Congress, BJP and JD(S) candidates on the grounds that a journalist should never vote for a major political party. The rest is simple. I choose an Independent candidate who has a bat for a logo, on the grounds that I can’t do much wrong with him. Perhaps he will do something for the Royal Challengers if voted :) People have voted for worse reasons, haven’t they?

Read the full blog: Bangalore votes

Cross-posted on sans serif