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Encyclopedia > Objectivity (journalism)
Topics in Journalism.
Professional concepts

Ethics & News values
Objectivity & Attribution
News source
News & Investigation
Reporting & Writing
Business & Citizen
Alternative & Advocacy
Science journalism
Other Topics & Books
Journalism is a discipline of collecting, verifying, analyzing and presenting information gathered regarding current events, including trends, issues and people. ... Journalism ethics and standards include principles of ethics and of good practice to address the specific challenges faced by professional journalists. ... News values determine how much prominence a news story is given by a media outlet. ... In journalism attribution is the identification of the source of reported information. ... Source is a term used in journalism to refer to any individual from whom information about a story has been received. ... News is new information or current events. ... Investigative journalism is a kind of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a topic of interest, often related to crime, scandals, government corruption, or white collar crime. ... A reporter is a type of journalist who researches and presents information in certain types of mass media. ... News style is the prose style of short, front-page newspaper stories and the news bulletins that air on radio and television. ... Business journalism includes coverage of companies, the workplace, personal finance, and economics, including unemployment and other economic indicators. ... Citizen journalism, also known as participatory journalism, is the act of citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information, according to the seminal report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information, by Shayne Bowman and Chris... As long as there has been media there has been alternative media. ... Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism which is strongly fact-based, but may seek to support a point-of-view in some public or private sector issue. ... Science journalism is a relatively new branch of journalism, which utilizes the art of reporting to convey information on science topics to a public forum. ... List of journalism topics A-D AP Stylebook Arizona Republic Associated Press Bar chart Canadian Association of Journalists Chart Citizen journalism Committee to Protect Journalists Conservative bias Copy editing Desktop publishing E-J Editor Freedom of the press Graphic design Hedcut Headline Headlinese Hostile media effect House style Information graphic... List of books related to journalism: The Art of Editing, by Floyd K. Baskette, Jack Z. Scissors, Brian S. Brooks Designing Infographics The Elements of Journalism What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect, by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel Infographics, by James Glen Stovall Media Management in the...

Outside influence

Infotainment & Celebrity
Infotainers & Personalities
Distorted news & VNRs
Yellow journalism
Public relations
Propaganda model Infotainment or soft news, refers to a general type of news media broadcast program which either provides a combination of current events news and entertainment programming, or an entertainment program structured in a news format. ... Celebrity news is an aspect of the wider infotainment/news trade which focuses on celebrities and celebrity gossip. ... Infotainers are entertainers in infotainment media, such as news anchors or news personalities who cross the line between journalism (quasi-journalism) and entertainment within the broader news trade. ... Infotainment or soft news, refers to a part of the wider news trade that provides information in a way that is considered entertaining to its viewers, as evident by attraction of a higher market demographic. ... Distorted news or planted news are terms in journalism for two deviated aspects of the wider news media wherein media outlets deliberately present false data, evidence, or sources as factual, in contradiction to the ethical practices in professional journalism. ... Public relations person, using a fictitious name, appears in U.S. Government Transportation Security Administration video news release on airport security (screenshot) A video news release (VNR) is a public relations or a propaganda technique whereby a video or radio program is produced, edited and distributed to various media outlets... Yellow journalism is a term given to any widespread tendencies or practices within media organizations that are detrimental to, or substandard from the point of view of, journalistic integrity. ... Public relations is, simply-stated, the art and science of building relationships between an organization and its key audiences. ... The propaganda model is a theory of political economy advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky that describes an hypothesised and empirically measured system of political biases of the mass media in terms of several causes, several of which are structural economic causes. ...

News media

Newspapers & Magazines
Agencies
Broadcasting
Online & Blogging News media satellite up-link trucks and photojournalists gathered outside the Prudential Financial headquarters in Newark, New Jersey in August, 2004 following the announcement of evidence of a terrorist threat to it and to buildings in New York City. ... A collection of magazines A magazine is a periodical publication containing a variety of articles, generally financed by advertising and/or purchase by readers. ... A news agency is an organization of journalists established to supply news reports to organizations in the news trade: newspapers, magazines, and radio and television broadcasters. ... Broadcast journalism refers to television news and radio news, as well as the online news outlets of broadcast affiliates. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... A blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. ...

Roles

Journalists, Reporters, Editors, Anchors, Photojournalists, Visual journalists The terms news trade or news business refers to news-related organizations in the mass media (or information media) as a business entity —associated with but distinct from the profession of journalism. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... A reporter is a type of journalist who researches and presents information in certain types of mass media. ... An Editor is a person who prepares text—typically language, but also images and sounds—for publication by correcting, condensing, or otherwise modifying it. ... NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw A news presenter is, broadly speaking, a person that presents a news show on television, radio or the Internet. ... Sports photojournalists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that creates images in order to tell a news story. ...

Wiki Projects

Journalism Project
Media Project
Members needed

Objectivity is frequently held to be essential to journalistic professionalism (particularly in the United States); however, there is some disagreement about what the concept consists of. In Europe and other countries, advocacy journalism is considered as a legitimate sort of professional journalism. In philosophy, objectivity is generally considered as the compatibility of propositions distinct and independent of propositional acts or attitudes. ... Journalism ethics and standards, include principles of ethics and of good practice to address the specific challenges faced by professional journalists. ... Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism which is strongly fact-based, but may seek to support a point-of-view in some public or private sector issue. ...

Contents


Definitions

The concept of objectivity has always been somewhat ambiguous, and both journalists and the public tend to identify objectivity in its absence. Few journalists would make a claim to total neutrality or impartiality. However, most strive toward a certain modicum of detachment from their own personal biases in their news work. In Discovering the News (1978), sociologist Michael Schudson argues that "the belief in objectivity is a faith in 'facts,' a distrust in 'values,' and a commitment to their segregation." In the United States, an objective story is typically considered to be one that steers a middle path between two poles of political rhetoric. The tenets of objectivity are violated to the degree to which the story appears to favor one pole over the other. Michael Schudson is an American academic sociologist working in the fields of journalism and its history, and public culture. ...


According to some, it refers to the prevailing ideology of newsgathering and reporting that emphasizes eyewitness accounts of events, corroboration of facts with multiple sources and "balance." It also implies an institutional role for journalists as a fourth estate, a body that exists apart from government and large interest groups. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The term Fourth Estate refers to the press, both in its explicit capacity of advocacy and in its implicit ability to frame political issues. ...


Others hold it should mean reporting things without bias, as if one just came to Earth from another planet and had no preconceived opinions about our behavior or ways. This form of journalism is rarely practised, although some argue it would lead to radical changes in reporting. (See, e.g., Noam Chomsky, The Journalist from Mars.) In probability and statistics, if a bias exists it means that the processes involved are not totally random, or one outcome is favoured over others. ... Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is the Institute Professor Emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ...


Still others hold it to mean that journalists should have something like a neutral point of view, not taking a stand on any issues on which there is some disagreement. Instead, journalists are simply to report what "both sides" of an issue tell them. Some even extend this standard to the journalist's personal life, prohibiting them from getting involved in political activities, which necessarily requires taking a stand. shut up chris See also Wikipedia:Neutral point of view Wikipedias neutrality policy. ...


Criticisms

Advocacy journalism in a general sense of way, civic journalism or engaged war-correspondents criticize this understanding of objectivity arguing that it does a disservice to the public because it fails to attempt to find the truth. They also argue that the concept is near impossible to apply in practice -- newspapers inevitably take a point of view in deciding what stories to cover, which to feature on the front page, what sources they quote, and other things. Media critics such as Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky (1988) have described a propaganda model that they use to show how in practice such a notion of objectivity ends up heavily favoring the viewpoint of those in power, namely the government and powerful corporations. Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism which is strongly fact-based, but may seek to support a point-of-view in some public or private sector issue. ... The Civic Journalism movement (also known as Public Journalism) is an attempt to abandon the notion that journalists and their audiences are spectators in political and social processes. ... Edward S. Herman is an economist and media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy and the media. ... Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is the Institute Professor Emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ... The propaganda model is a theory of political economy advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky that describes an hypothesised and empirically measured system of political biases of the mass media in terms of several causes, several of which are structural economic causes. ...


Another example of an objection to objectivity, according to communication scholar David Mindich (Just the Facts: How "Objectivity" Came to Define American Journalism, 1998), was the coverage that the major papers (most notably the New York Times) gave to the lynching of thousands of African Americans during the 1890s. News stories of the period often described with detachment the hanging, immolation and mutilation of men, women and children by mobs. Under the regimen of objectivity, news writers often attempted to balance these accounts by recounting the alleged transgressions of the victims that provoked the lynch mobs to fury. David Mindich argues that this may have had the effect of normalizing the practice of lynching. David Mindich is a professor at Saint Michaels College in Colchester, Vt. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... Lynching is violence, usually murder, conceived by its perpetrators as extra-legal execution, or used as a terrorist method of enforcing social domination. ...


Alternatives

Some argue that a more appropriate standard should be fairness and accuracy (as enshrined in the names of groups like Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting). Under this standard, taking sides on an issue would be permitted as long as the side taken was accurate and the other side was given a fair chance to respond. Many professionals believe that true objectivity in journalism is not possible and reporters must seek balance in their stories (giving all sides their respective points of view), which fosters fairness. Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), founded in 1986, is an American organization that works against and documents bias in the media, censorship, and erroneous reporting. ...


Notable departures from objective news work include the muckraking of Ida Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens, the New Journalism of Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson, the underground press of the 1960s, and public journalism. In American English, a muckraker is a journalist or an author who searches for and exposes scandals and abuses occurring in business and politics. ... Ida Tarbell Ida Minerva Tarbell (November 5, 1857 - January 6, 1944) was an American author and journalist, known as one of the leading muckrakers. ... Joseph Lincoln Steffens (April 6, 1866–August 9, 1936), American journalist, was one of the most famous and influential practitioners of the journalistic style called muckraking. ... New Journalism was the name given to a style of news writing and journalism by Tom Wolfe who, when having trouble writing an assignment, sent his editor an unstructured narrative letter rather than the tight piece usually expected of a journalist of that time. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Hunter S. Thompson (Photo by Allen G. Arpadi) Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author. ... The phrase underground press, especially underground newspapers (or simply underground papers) is, these days, most often used in reference to the alternative print media, independently published and distributed, associated with the countercultural movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... Citizen journalism, also known as participatory journalism is the act of citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information, according to the seminal report, We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information, by Shayne Bowman and Chris...


History

The term objectivity was not applied to journalistic work until the 20th century, but it had fully emerged as a guiding principle by the 1890s. A number of communication scholars and historians agree that the idea of "objectivity" has prevailed as a dominant discourse among journalists in the United States since the appearance of modern newspapers in the Jacksonian Age of Egalitarianism of the 1830s. The rise of objectivity in journalistic method is also rooted in the scientific positivism of the 19th century, as professional journalism of the late 19th century borrowed parts of its worldview from various scientific disciplines of the day. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... The 1890s were sometimes referred to as the Mauve Decade, because William Henry Perkins aniline dye allowed the widespread use of that colour in fashion, and also as the Gay Nineties, under the then-current usage of the word gay which referred simply to merriment and frivolity, with no... Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845), was the seventh President of the United States (1829-1837), hero of the Battle of New Orleans (1815), a founder of the Democratic Party, and the eponym of the era of Jacksonian democracy. ... // Events and Trends Electromagnetic induction discovered by Michael Faraday Dutch-speaking farmers known as Voortrekkers emigrate northwards from the Cape Colony Croquet invented in Ireland Railroad construction begins in earnest in the United States Egba refugees fleeing the Yoruba civil wars found the city of Abeokuta in south-west Nigeria... Positivism can have several meanings. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Some have observed that "objectivity" went hand in hand with the need to make profits in the newspaper business by selling advertising. Publishers did not want to offend any potential advertising customers and therefore encouraged news editors and reporters to strive to present all sides of an issue.


References

  • Herman, Edward and Noam Chomsky. 1988. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. New York: Pantheon.
  • Mindich, David T. Z. 1998. Just the Facts: How “Objectivity” Came to Define American Journalism. New York: New York University Press.
  • Schudson, Michael. 1978. Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers. New York: Basic Books.
  • Schudson, Michael. 1997. "The Sociology of News Production." In Social Meaning of News: A Text-Reader. Dan Berkowitz, ed. Pp. 7-22. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

See also


Parent article: Journalistic standards Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism which is strongly fact-based, but may seek to support a point-of-view in some public or private sector issue. ... In philosophy, objectivity is generally considered as the compatibility of propositions distinct and independent of propositional acts or attitudes. ... Journalism ethics and standards, include principles of ethics and of good practice to address the specific challenges faced by professional journalists. ... Journalistic standards or journalism ethics, include principles of ethics and of good practice to address the specific challenges faced by professional journalists. ...


 
 

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