The Professional: Group 3

Is it possible for journalists to practice perfect objectivity and distance in their reporting?

This question was asked during group three’s class discussion. I do not believe it is possible for journalists to practice perfect objectivity and distance in their reporting. The goal of journalism is to be perfectly objective, but I think that it is nearly impossible to be perfectly objective. We will have some sort of emotional connection to nearly every story we do as journalists, so naturally we will be slightly subjective when writing the story. All news stations or newspapers have at least a slight reputation to lean to the left or right, and this has resulted from a lack of objectivity in journalism.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar/tags/objective.html

This link shows different opinions on whether or not journalists can be truly objective. It is a controversial issue that no two people agree completely on.

http://bigthink.com/ideas/2883

I like the analogy that he makes in this video. He says that just because objectivity is not attainable, does not mean we should do away with it. He compares objectivity to marriage. Just because many marriages end in divorce doesn’t mean that we should get rid of marriage all together. I thought that he gave some interesting insights into objectivity.

“We pick out what our culture has already defined for us, and we tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture.” Walter Lippmann

The next thing I want to discuss is whether or not it is possible for us to shed our original culture and if shedding it could help with objectivity in journalism. I think that once a a journalist is born into a culture, it is very difficult for them to change their ways even if they are completely immersed in another culture. I think that it could make objectivity worse. The reporter will most likely be biased towards their culture and could make their journalism lean towards their original culture.

http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/publication/2010/11/20101124104218nayr6.326801e-02.html#axzz1oJTrkksR

This article talks about different ethical standards in journalism and the rules that journalists should follow. The last section says that cultures should be respected and followed. I think that even if a person puts themselves into another culture, they will not be able to overcome cultural differences. It would be difficult to learn all the different customs of a different culture, and then to have to be a journalist on top of that would be nearly impossible.

morgan miller

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