How much 'voice' is too much - two interesting perspectives
One of the things I struggle with - and I think I can say I'm not alone among journalists, academics or journalist-academics (jacademics?) - is how to insert enough of a wedge between the old idea of "objectivity" (disclosure - I don't subscribe to that; I prefer fairness because no one can be really objective) and the idea of putting some voice, some fun, into the news product.
The immediate challenge, of course, is to teach how to do it so that the resulting product does not read like some gross disgorgement of self-indulgence, while at the same time acknowledging that as much as it may be a moving target and to some extent a strawman for other grievances, there remains the shadowy figure of "going too far."
A good example is that debate played out in the past week between the New York Times' new public editor, Arthur Brisbane, and Jonathan Weber, editor in chief of the Bay Citizen, which provides content for some of the Times' West Coast editions. (The column in question was one that Weber did on San Francisco city workers' pensions - hey, anyone who can get a rise out of the audience on pension matters has my respect! Interestingly, Brisbane also cites a NYT article by Ron Lieber on public pensions in Colorado as problematic, though I thought Lieber did a nice job of blending voice and fact until the final five grafs, where he starts coloring outside the lines a bit).
I'd recommend you read both columns. (FWIW, my thought is that Matt Bai's column that Brisbane referred to went a little wide of the turn.)
On another matter, read the San Francisco Weekly's outtake on NPR's new blog network, Argo. Very insightful on how NPR is trying to take "blogging" a bit beyond its current form and into the "hard" news realm. Kind of a reverse of the above, given bloggers' "pajama-wearing" image that ignores the vast range of sophistication and expertise out there.