background preloader

7 Principles of Media Objectivity

7 Principles of Media Objectivity
Media manipulation is one of the most unfortunate aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We’ve seen papers blur the distinction between journalism and advocacy, fact-checking failures become fatal, photographers and Palestinians twist reality in mutually beneficial relationships, semantics become politicized and news executives cover up news to protect access. We’ve even seen journalists abuse readers who dared to disagree. None of this is in the public’s interest. News services capable of skewing Mideast coverage are just as capable of botching other areas of coverage. We expect journalists to maintain independence and objectivity.We expect news that is relevant, informative, proportionate, and engaging.We expect transparency. If truth is to prevail, we must be more discerning news consumers, otherwise, we become passive objects of someone else’s agenda. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. Related:  tameratm

The Media - Objectivity Journalists often claim that their own biases and the pressures from advertisers and media owners do not affect their work because of their professional norm of 'objectivity'. Journalistic objectivity has two components. The first is 'depersonalisation' which means that journalists should not overtly express their own views, evaluations, or beliefs. The second is 'balance' which involves presenting the views of representatives of both sides of a controversy without favouring one side.(Entman 1989, p. 30; Nelkin 1987, p. 91) Associated conventions include: authoritative sources, such as politicians must be quoted (in this way the journalist is seen to distance him- or herself from the views reported, by establishing that they are someone else's opinions); 'fact' must be separated from 'opinion', and 'hard news' from 'editorial comment'; and the presentation of information must be structured pyramidically, with the most important bits coming first, at the 'top' of the story. Ben H.

Media bias Media bias is the bias or perceived bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. The term "media bias" implies a pervasive or widespread bias contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist or article. The direction and degree of media bias in various countries is widely disputed. Practical limitations to media neutrality include the inability of journalists to report all available stories and facts, and the requirement that selected facts be linked into a coherent narrative.[1] Government influence, including overt and covert censorship, biases the media in some countries, for example North Korea and Burma.[2] Market forces that result in a biased presentation include the ownership of the news source, concentration of media ownership, the selection of staff, the preferences of an intended audience, and pressure from advertisers. Types[edit]

An Argument Why Journalists Should Not Abandon Objectivity In “Losing the News: The Future of the News that Feeds Democracy,” published by Oxford University Press, Alex S. Jones, a 1982 Nieman Fellow and director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, describes in its prologue his purpose and intent in writing about the “genuine crisis” in news. “It is not one of press bias, though that is how most people seem to view it,” he contends. “Rather, it is a crisis of diminishing quantity and quality, of morale and sense of mission, of values and leadership.” In this excerpt from the chapter “Objectivity’s Last Stand,” Jones reminds readers how objectivity assumed its role in the tradition of American journalism, what “authentic journalistic objectivity” looks like when practiced well, and why it matters so much to the future of news reporting. I define journalistic objectivity as a genuine effort to be an honest broker when it comes to news. But what, exactly, was objective journalism?

Objectivity vs. Neutrality: One in the same? | iMedia blogger Objective: “Undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on observable phenomena.” According to several Web definitions, those characteristics make up the term that journalism organizations strive to maintain in the news. But according to Robert McChesney in “The Political Economy of Media,” achieving objectivity is a losing battle. “Journalism cannot actually be neutral or objective,” McChesney states, arguing that decision making about news worthiness and prominence of certain stories over others negates the idea that objectivity can be attainable. Take a small-town paper for instance: How can an editor “objectively” choose between a lead story about the crisis in Haiti and a devastating car wreck involving members of the community? The answer: It would depend. But this brings me to another issue. Like this: Like Loading...

Media Manipulation and Public Relations The media are accused of bias by people from both ends of the political spectrum, but journalists, editors and owners maintain that they provide an objective source of news. This chapter will consider the ways in which the news is shaped and how this in turn influences the way environmental issues are reported and constructed in the mass media. In the United States, where the debate over media objectivity is most heated, conservatives criticise the media for having a ‘liberal’ bias and these critics focus on the personal views of journalists, editors and media owners who, they argue, tend to be elitist, left-leaning and politically correct. A number of books have been published recently highlighting this supposed liberal bias including Press Bias and Politics: How the media frame controversial issues (Kuypers 2002), Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News (Goldberg 2003b) and Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite (Goldberg 2003a). Background to the Issues

Objectivity: It’s Time to Say Goodbye American journalism has long embraced an impossible standard—objectivity. Beyond being unachievable, it’s undesirable because it rejects biases that are necessary if news is to be useful in a democracy—biases for the common good, for brevity, for making what’s important interesting. Objectivity has also hobbled journalism, substituting accuracy—often the transcription of official quotes—for the more difficult goal of truth. When journalists are losing their jobs by the thousands and major newspapers are closing, it may seem that a discussion of objectivity has the urgency of deck chair arrangements on the Titanic. As a standard to separate news from nonsense and a guide to ethical reporting, objectivity is about as reliable as judging character by the firmness of a handshake. Empiricism’s Benefits Although the best news organizations are already moving in this direction, replacing objectivity with empiricism would represent a paradigm shift, not just a change of terminology. John H.

Objectivity and bias - Journawiki At least in the mainstream press in the United States, basic journalism tenets include balance, fairness and objectivity. The press is sometimes criticized as being biased. These terms can be difficult to pin down. According to A Statement of Shared Purpose, by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee of Concerned Journalists: "When the concept of objectivity originally evolved, it did not imply that journalists are free of bias." "Objectivity" refers not to the person, but to the method, the testing of information, to help prevent biases from undermining the work. As of 2005, there is a growing school of thought within the industry that bias is not inherently bad, and that journalistic objectivity may deserve refinement. For example, a common credo in journalism is to "afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted." Political bias, left or right, is a common charge of bias. But the amount of coverage on a given topic can also suggest bias.

Media in the United States Author and Page information In recent years, the American media has been plagued with all sorts of problems including, sliding profits, scandals about manipulation, plagiarism, propaganda, lower audiences, “dumbing down”, and so on. Media omissions, distortion, inaccuracy and bias in the US is something acknowledged by many outside the USA, and is slowly realized more and more inside the US. However, those problems have made it very difficult for the average American citizen to obtain an open, objective view of many of the issues that involve the United States (and since the United States is so influential culturally, economically, politically and militarily around the world, they are naturally involved in many issues). Those with power and influence know that media control or influence is crucial. A free press is crucial for a functioning democracy, but if not truly free, paves the way for manipulation and concentration of views, thus undermining democracy itself. — J.W. Back to top Dr.

Rethinking Journalism Ethics, Objectivity in the Age of Social Media | Mediashift In response to the rapidly changing media environment, many schools and academic programs are offering novel approaches to journalism education. This seismic change creates tensions within programs, especially when it comes to how to teach ethics for this increasingly mixed media. In an earlier column, I put forward some principles for teaching ethics amid this media revolution. But these principles do not address some specific problems. Whither objectivity? Today, students don’t just learn how to report straight news on deadline. Schools of journalism have always taught, to some extent, what is called “opinion journalism,” such as learning to write an editorial that supports a candidate for political office. One problem is whether the ideal of journalistic objectivity should be emphasized in these changing curricula. The new journalism tends to be more personal. So the question is: Should educators maintain or abandon objectivity in their teaching? Photo by Roger H. Redefining Objectivity

Related: