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    Journalistic objectivity

    Journalistic objectivity

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    The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the Western World and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new article, as appropriate.


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    Journalistic objectivity is a considerable notion within the discussion of journalistic professionalism. Journalistic objectivity may refer to fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and nonpartisanship, but most often encompasses all of these qualities. First evolving as a practice in the 18th century, a number of critiques and alternatives to the notion have emerged since, fuelling ongoing and dynamic discourse surrounding the ideal of objectivity in journalism.

    Most newspapers and TV stations depend upon news agencies for their material, and each of the four major global agencies (Agence France-Presse (formerly the Havas agency), Associated Press, Reuters, and Agencia EFE) began with and continue to operate on a basic philosophy of providing a single objective news feed to all subscribers. That is, they do not provide separate feeds for conservative or liberal newspapers. Journalist Jonathan Fenby has explained the notion:

    To achieve such wide acceptability, the agencies avoid overt partiality. The demonstrably correct information is their stock-in-trade. Traditionally, they report at a reduced level of responsibility, attributing their information to a spokesman, the press, or other sources. They avoid making judgments and steer clear of doubt and ambiguity. Though their founders did not use the word, objectivity is the philosophical basis for their enterprises – or failing that, widely acceptable neutrality.[1]

    Objectivity in journalism aims to help the audience make up their own mind about a story, providing the facts alone and then letting audiences interpret those on their own. To maintain objectivity in journalism, journalists should present the facts whether or not they like or agree with those facts. Objective reporting is meant to portray issues and events in a neutral and unbiased manner, regardless of the writer's opinion or personal beliefs.[2]


    1 Definitions 2 History 3 Criticisms 4 Alternatives 5 Crowdfunding 6 See also 7 Citations 8 General sources 9 Further reading 10 External links


    Sociologist Michael Schudson suggests that "the belief in objectivity is a faith in 'facts,' a distrust in 'values,' and a commitment to their segregation".[3] Objectivity also outlines an institutional role for journalists as a fourth estate, a body that exists apart from government and large interest groups.[4]

    Journalistic objectivity requires that a journalist not be on either side of an argument. The journalist must report only the facts and not a personal attitude toward the facts.[5] While objectivity is a complex and dynamic notion that may refer to a multitude of techniques and practices, it generally refers to the idea of "three distinct, yet interrelated, concepts": truthfulness, neutrality, and detachment.[6]

    Truthfulness is a commitment to reporting only accurate and truthful information, without skewing any facts or details to improve the story or better align an issue with any certain agenda.[6] Neutrality suggests that stories be reported in an unbiased, even-handed, and impartial manner. Under this notion, journalists are to side with none of the parties involved, and simply provide the relevant facts and information of all.[6] The third idea, detachment, refers to the emotional approach of the journalist. Essentially, reporters should not only approach issues in an unbiased manner but also with a dispassionate and emotionless attitude. Through this strategy, stories can be presented in a rational and calm manner, letting the audience make up their minds without any influences from the media.[6]


    The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the Western World and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new article, as appropriate.

    The modern notion of objectivity in journalism is largely due to the work of Walter Lippmann.[7] Lippmann was the first to widely call for journalists to use the scientific method for gathering information.[8] Lippmann called for journalistic objectivity after the excesses of yellow journalism. He noted that the yellows at the time had served their purpose, but that the people needed to receive the actual news, and not a "romanticized version of it".[9]

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    inquizitive Chapter 07. The Media Flashcards

    Start studying inquizitive Chapter 07. The Media. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

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    Which of the following statements are true regarding changes in the media landscape since 1991?

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    -Newspaper readership has declined.

    -The internet has replaced the newspaper as people's secondary source for news.

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    Most of the national news published by local newspapers is provided by which source?

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    the assosiacted

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    Terms in this set (26)

    Which of the following statements are true regarding changes in the media landscape since 1991?

    -Newspaper readership has declined.

    -The internet has replaced the newspaper as people's secondary source for news.

    Most of the national news published by local newspapers is provided by which source?

    the assosiacted

    Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the media wrote many stories about President Bush's performance on protecting the nation from terrorism and few stories on the economy. What two means of media influence is this an example of?

    -priming -agenda setting

    How has the media landscape changed as the FCC's regulatory powers changed in the past several decades?

    restrictions on media ownership have been relaxed

    Freedom of the press is found in the ______ Amendment? (Enter 1 for First Amendment, 2 for Second, etc.)

    1st amendment

    Which of the following statements about Americans' use of social media as a news source are true?

    -There are multiple social media sources that individuals can use to get news.

    broadest reach of all news sources

    broadcast media

    least popular source for news today

    newspapers and magazines

    the most open to new participants such as citizen journalists

    digital media

    features the most interaction between audience and the press

    digital media

    oldest form of media

    newspapers and magazines

    Which of the following are advantages to online news?

    -diversity -depth -convenience -currency

    Which of the following are consequences of the current increase in media monopolies?

    -A smaller number of companies control the media's agenda setting power.

    -Individuals expressing less popular viewpoints may find it difficult to get media exposure.

    Which statements correctly reflect the characteristics of traditional and online media?

    -Online media have a higher potential for misinformation than traditional media.

    -Traditional media are often forced to account for online media reports in their own stories.

    If the media choose to focus on a war in the Middle East rather than discussing some positive economic news from that region, they are engaging in -. This is directly related to the media's power of -.

    -selection bias -agenda setting

    Which of the following was most responsible for the development of professionalized journalists and the norm of "objectivity" in newspapers?

    the best way to appeal to a large audience is to produce a standardized, neutral news product

    In the past twenty years, the number of media sources has -. In that same period of time, political knowledge in the electorate has -.

    -increased -remained constant

    Choose all of the functions that the media serve in democratic politics

    -inform the public about current political issues

    -watch the government and politicians for any wrongdoing on their part

    -provide a forum for politicians to debate policies

    How has the Supreme Court responded to newspapers' attempts to publish leaked information?

    it has supported publication of leaked information

    How did the Telecommunications Act of 1996 change the media landscape?

    it opened the way for consolidation of media ownership

    How does the profit motive affect the media in America?

    decisions are primarily driven by what the audience wants

    According to research by the Pew Research Center on internet access, which groups tend to have the greatest access to broadband internet at home?

    -the wealthy -college graduates

    Media monopolies often make it - for opponents of the status quo to get much - media coverage.

    -harder -national

    Comedy shows like The Daily Show are - sources of political news, with followers who are - informed about politics.

    -important -well

    Which political actors were the first to take advantage of the media to create a direct bond with the people?


    Which of the following media forms is the Federal Communications Commission able to regulate content on?

    AM radio FM radio television stations

    Recommended textbook explanations

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    Source : quizlet.com

    Journalism, Professionalization of

    JOURNALISM, PROFESSIONALIZATION OFContemporary mass communication scholars, as well as some journalists themselves, still debate whether journalism is, or even whether it should be, a profession. Source for information on Journalism, Professionalization of: Encyclopedia of Communication and Information dictionary.

    Journalism, Professionalization of

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    Contemporary mass communication scholars, as well as some journalists themselves, still debate whether journalism is, or even whether it should be, a profession. But certainly, during the past 250 years, journalism in America has evolved toward professional values, from the one-person printing operations of the Colonial period to the division of labor of the antebellum newsroom and the emergence of reporters in the mid-1860s to the more sophisticated understanding of the social role and responsibility of mass media of the early twentieth century.

    To qualify as a profession, an occupation should be founded on a body of specialized knowledge over which the professional gains authority through specialized education and training; furthermore, a professional has a large degree of autonomy from outside censure and is regulated by an internal code of ethics and by the sanction of fellow professionals through professional associations. On a moral level, a profession provides society with a service that no others can. These defining characteristics are based on those of classic professions such as medicine and law. Many critics claim that journalism hardly fits them, because of the lack of educational requirements and licensing, among others. These critics also point out that unionization of such journalists as daily newspaper reporters, which is commonplace, limits autonomy in the sense that unionized employees are not free as individuals to set their own work-place rules. Other critics respond that journalists possess the most important professional feature—a higher calling to work fundamentally not for personal pecuniary gain but for public service.

    By the 1830s, journalism in the United States had become a full-time occupation and the "professional communicator" developed—someone whose thoughts have no necessary relation to the message. The professionalization of journalism emerged visibly after the U.S. Civil War, with the establishment of professional associations, standards and codes of ethics, and education programs. For example, Cornell University was offering a "certificate of journalism" in 1873, and Joseph Pulitzer, founder of the endowed Columbia University in 1903 to found a journalism school. The Missouri Press Association was formed in 1876, and it established its own ethical code. Edwin Shuman published perhaps the first comprehensive journalism textbook, , in 1894.

    Unquestionably, the most evident sign of change toward more professional journalism was the parallel emergence in the late nineteenth century of the ultimate journalistic value: objectivity. Partly in reaction to the sensationalistic excesses and the blunt commercialism of yellow journalism in the 1890s, journalists sought professionalization, and its norm of objectivity, as a way to make their occupation more respectable and socially responsible. The reforming impetus of progressivism also spurred journalists to detach themselves from crass circulation battles and fight for social enlightenment. Michael Schudson, in (1978), argues that professionalism was a way to strive for more objective reporting. According to Dan Schiller (1979), objectivity also helped commercial newspapers legitimate their function as watchdogs of the public good. While allowing journalists to be independent from the self-interests of business and politicians, objectivity has also come under attack for thwarting the autonomy of journalism—a critique attached to professionalism itself. While some envision professionalism as the opposite of bias, others charge professionalism with serving as a method of control by management over reporters and editors (a co-opting of labor unrest) that ultimately standardizes news content and protects the status quo. In this view, Douglas Birkhead (1984) argues that the professionalization of journalism is so opposed to independence in favor of business interests as to be "a perversion of the ideal."

    Somewhat paradoxically, other critics of professionalism and objectivity who also follow the "power approach" charge that the autonomy of journalists functions as a profit-and prestige-seeking device, which makes journalists detached from the public and socially irresponsible. They accuse objectivity of downgrading the journalist from critic to mere reporter of facts, a "communication technician." This criticism found voice in the social responsibility theory of the press early in the twentieth century; the theory, best expressed by the Hutchins Commission Report in 1947, holds that there is no freedom apart from responsibility, so a free press should perform a certain service for society and some institution (the government) must make it do so. Attacking objectivity, this theory holds that the public is served not only by facts but by context that can point to conclusions (i.e., interpretation). While journalists had been instrumental in developing a socially responsible press to give credibility to their occupation, most balked at the Hutchins Report because of its hint at governmental censorship and disregard for the prevailing libertarian view of press freedom. (Some consider it a sign of professionalism that journalists have been active in "political agitation" over a free press.) The contemporary product of this theory—public journalism—can also be seen as both a development and a threat to professionalism. If professionals have as their ultimate goal serving and improving society, then public journalism follows quite naturally. But some see it as the opposite of professionalism and objectivity, which they criticize for shielding journalists from true public service. Other critics of professionalism argue that it stifles diversity and even that the "institutionalized mentality" it breeds restricts press freedom.

    Source : www.encyclopedia.com

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