Objectivity in journalism by Steven Maras

By Steven Maras

Objectivity in journalism is a key subject for debate in media, verbal exchange and journalism experiences, and has been the topic of extensive historic and sociological examine. within the first examine of its sort, Steven Maras surveys different viewpoints and views on objectivity. Going past a denunciation or defence of journalistic objectivity, Maras seriously examines the various scholarly arguments made within the zone. established round key questions, the booklet considers the origins and background of objectivity, its philosophical impacts, the most objections and defences, and questions of values, politics and ethics. This publication examines debates round objectivity as a transnational norm, targeting the emergence of objectivity within the US, whereas broadening out dialogue to incorporate advancements round objectivity within the united kingdom, Australia, Asia and different areas.

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Or conversely, objectivity is cheaper’ (1977: 594; also Hackett & Zhao 1998: 66). That is, within constraints of money, time and people, reporters can file stories by sticking close to what is stated by sources without having to sift through mountains of evidence or having to sort out what is truth, and also without having to be specialists in a field. Objectivity frees reporters from the need to acquire expert knowledge and also allows inter-changeability of reporters (McQuail 1992: 185). The commercialization argument is, of all the arguments, one of the most demanding in terms of historical knowledge about the media, especially concepts such as the market (Schudson 1978: 58; Schiller 1981: 9–10; Allan 1997: 304), and different phases of economic and political activity (see Kaplan 2002: 104).

What can disappear from view are more complex ways of approaching the concept of journalistic objectivity: its origins and histories, the philosophies and institutions behind it, its relationship to practice (see Nolan & Marjoribanks 2006). Another starting point that I am mindful of is the concept of objectivity itself. This book has a clear focus on objectivity in journalism, but the fact is that objectivity ‘in general’ is a powerful cultural idea, one that has its roots in the foundations of Western science and the enlightenment.

Indeed, the different chapters of this book represent different ways of entering into the topic of objectivity in journalism. Some focus on history, others philosophy, or ethics. The reader is open to engage with the chapters in the sequence of their choice. So, for example, some readers may choose to begin with the chapters on the objections and defences to objectivity, before considering the history in detail. Others will benefit from having a deeper historical background before considering the other chapters.

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