Objectivity in Journalism
by This page has been accessed since 29 May 1996. The oft-stated and highly desired goal of modern journalism is objectivity, the detached and unprejudiced gathering and dissemination of news and information.
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In 1997, an organization then administered by PEJ, the Committee of Concerned Journalists, began a national conversation among citizens and news people to identify and clarify the principles that underlie journalism. After four years of research, including 20 public forums around the country, a reading of journalism history, a national survey of journalists, and more, the group released a Statement of Shared Purpose that identified nine principles. These became the basis for The Elements of Journalism, the book by PEJ Director Tom Rosenstiel and CCJ Chairman and PEJ Senior Counselor Bill Kovach. Here are those principles, as outlined in the original Statement of Shared Purpose. A Statement of Purpose After extended examination by journalists themselves of the character of journalism at the end of the twentieth century, we offer this common understanding of what defines our work.
July 8, 2003 | Like this article?
Journalism, as we've known it, has been mourned deeply over the last few years. The Internet has changed everything. "Citizen journalism," a phrase that still inspires dirty looks at most journalism conferences, has blurred the lines between objectivity and subjectivity, paid and unpaid labor, news and opinion. It gives veteran journalists agita to imagine totally untrained people messing around in their exclusive, albeit hardscrabble, club.
DAVID BROOKS There is some dispute about whether objectivity can really exist. How do we know the truth? Well, I’m not a relativist on the subject. I think there is truth out there and that objectivity is like virtue; it's the thing you always fall short of, but the thing you always strive toward. And by the way, I think that opinion journalists have to be objective just as much as straight reporters. Opinion journalists, too, have to be able to see reality wholly and truly.
Journalistic Objectivity: “Getting the Best Obtainable Version of the Truth”