Friday, March 31, 2006

The Twilight of Objectivity

Michael Kinsley says; opinion journalism could change the face of the news.

"No one seriously doubts anymore that the Internet will fundamentally change the news business. The uncertainty is whether it will only change the method of delivering the product, or whether it will change the nature of the product as well. Will people want, in any form—and will they pay for—a collection of articles, written by professional journalists from a detached and purportedly objective point of view? The television industry is panicky as well. Will anyone sit through a half-hour newscast invented back when everyone had to watch the same thing at the same time? Or are blogs and podcasts the cutting edge of a new model for both print and video—more personalized, more interactive, more opinionated, more communal, less objective?

Objectivity—the faith professed by American journalism and by its critics—is less an ideal than a conceit. It's not that all journalists are secretly biased, or even that perfect objectivity is an admirable but unachievable goal. In fact, most reporters work hard to be objective and the best come very close. The trouble is that objectivity is a muddled concept. Many of the world's most highly opinionated people believe with a passion that it is wrong for reporters to have any opinions at all about what they cover. These critics are people who could shed their own skins more easily than they could shed their opinions. But they expect it of journalists. It can't be done. Journalists who claim to have developed no opinions about what they cover are either lying or deeply incurious and unreflective about the world around them. In either case, they might be happier in another line of work."

Read it all


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Powered by Blogger