“Objectivity Has Got To Go”: News Leaders Call for the End of Objective Journalism”
We have been discussing the rise of advocacy journalism and the rejection of objectivity in journalism schools. Writers, editors, commentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers. This movement includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy.
Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll decried how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.” – February 1, 2023
If social juicest — as understood by the professor — is in conflict with objectivity, perhaps it is also in conflict with reality.
But now, will objectivity come to be seen as a constraint in science too? If so, trust will deteriorate too.
Public trust in media is way down: See Polls: Trust in mainstream U.S. media still in free fall:
A Canadian commentator has noticed a little-publicized fact about last week’s New York Times–Siena College poll of 792 registered voters. While the poll focused on the US mid-term elections next month, the information about how typical voters view mainstream media was most revealing. A majority not only don’t trust media but see them as a threat to democracy: … Media have come a long way since 1969 when an archived poll showed that Americans had strong trust in the press. – October 20, 2022
Perhaps the critical question isn’t whether traditional media are trusted but whether their model can even survive the tsunami of the internet.
You may also wish to read: In Big Tech World: the journalist as censor, hit man, and snitch. Glenn Greenwald looks at a disturbing trend in media toward misrepresentation as well as censorship.