Objective reporting

The discussion is continuing on my take on “Disaster Reporting” – which is no longer on the front page. It’s reminded me of an assignment I wrote in my final Journalism subject at uni. It was about objectivity and the state of modern journalism.

“In a sense the intellectual argument for objectivity has been effectively killed by post modernity. Any coverage of an event is “objective,” so long as the writer presents their view of the facts. A wider, purer form of objectivity is important at an organisational level. The media should represent the public at large, this means representing the diverse range of views and opinions on any issue.”

“The pursuit of objectivity has damaged journalism’s claim to a professional status. If journalistic practice is simply a paint-by-numbers process, trained journalists are a surplus to requirements. For journalism to be considered anything more than formulaic, and for the press to uphold its essential role in the democratic process, stories must move past the superficial and engage the intellect.”

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

One thought on “Objective reporting”

  1. Certainly the media should have a role in accountability etc but we have to remember that the media as an entity does not serve the interests of the people at large – but is primarily a medium to advertise to people. Which is why the ABC/SBS as an idea are so important – but even they are not free from influence (ie the demand for ratings).

    Who decides what the public at large is? The cynic could say to those running these media networks it is the people who will buy the products that their advertisers place in their publication/show.

    And there is a difference to offering angles to stories so they are not a paint by numbers approach and out and out emotional manipulation and/or propaganda.

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