Several journalists are rejecting the concept of "objectivity" in their reporting. iStock



The Fourth Estate, the press — the so-called profession of journalism for any unaware of that term given the press left the doors unlocked, the windows open, and the very foundation of the estate crumbling and rotting due to decades of neglect and permitting thousands to enter the estate and ransack the place and set up in its place something unrecognizable.

Journalism, while always containing some bias since it was created by human beings having innate biases in them, at least had a modicum of integrity and did make attempts much of the time to present an objective, both sides of a matter considered effort. There always have been exceptions, but for the most part for much of its existence, the area of journalism had some ethics, some standards to which it aspired and attempted to hold to.

This began to change many decades ago.

Prior to my establishing this place, and being saved by my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, born anew, I did constant reading and research pertaining to events, history, politics, and what was unfolding in America, the West, and the nations of the world as much as I could [which I still do daily and nightly, only now from a totally different perspective. Having a Biblical worldview from which to view and discern everything rather than the worldview of the overwhelming majority]. Over forty-five years ago I came upon more than one well researched, written, and thought out article that presented clearly and factually how journalism schools in America were undergoing radical change. Abandoning all journalistic standards that had existed. No longer requiring information gained from multiple sources, no longer checking sources, no longer attempting to find some balance, objectivity and live up to what the fourth estate was supposed to be — a bastion of factual information presented in an objective and as unbiased manner possible to inform the people of events taking place in government, in institutions, all things newsworthy.

If you’re old enough you’ll recall the not so subtle radical changes that took place.

If you’re old enough you’ll remember the 1976 film Network. A fictional movie about a fictional television news network. One when the film came out I remember David Brinkley adamantly stating the film was pure fantasy and entertainment and no newsroom, no news network, the state of journalism would never become like that portrayed in the film.

Yet news bureaus were already in the transition of making the fictional film Network a reality. Perhaps not the antics of the character Howard Beal in the film, but within that film was the disclosing of the radical changes taking place in news bureaus and divisions throughout America, throughout the West.

Journalism schools no longer cared about or taught journalistic integrity. Journalistic ethics. It was anything goes. Just get noticed. Sell magazines, sell newspapers, get TV ratings. Make as much money as possible and to hell with the facts, with getting multiple reliable sources, with taking the time to verify information. Just be first, be fast, be entertaining, and be profitable. Or go away. Because the days of the news reporters, even the television news anchors rubbing shoulders with Everyman and eating in the same restaurants, drinking in the same bars, and sending their children to the same public schools came to an end. Salaries increased into stratospheric proportions parallel to the foundations of journalistic principles and standards being tossed aside.

News divisions were being absorbed into the entertainment divisions and no longer standing alone as news departments. And soon the content began to radically change. The news today is more like someone that looks appealing and is all made up and catches the eye with lights on them to draw one’s attention to them…while they juggle, swallow fire, or act like a trained animal performing stunts. It’s all about distraction in conjunction with presenting an agenda. Not in working with or presenting long standing journalistic standards, any objectivity, any balance, any real news to people.

It’s ALL edited, censored, massaged, and manufactured to fit a given agenda.

This may be difficult to swallow and may offend, but even your favored brand, place, or network, your favored source of so-called news falls into this category today.

It takes individual effort, and real work by a person to glean and source important information — news, that is delivered in an objective manner.

Bias is the order of the times.

Objectivity is not only a dirty word but verboten in almost every news agency today. Which you’ll discover in reading the article below written by Mr. Wulfsohn.

Whatever you watch, and whatever you read from any source needs to be now checked and double checked. By you as an individual if you really want to be accurately informed. And how many folks are going to do that in this age of brevity, the delusion of not having time, of people having attention spans of shorter duration than houseflies? Gullible. Believing whatever is in a photo, a video, in print, or what may be said on television.

This is all part of the pieces of the puzzle.

For there is coming a time — sooner than later — when all information able to be obtained will be manufactured, edited, and made up, to control the people. What is really happening will require a news information underground to supply to people. And most will not believe anything this underground presents and will be loyal to and believe what they are fed on their TVs, their Smartphones, and watches, whatever devices are made available by technology —  the bits implanted in their bodies supplying them their so-called “news and information.”

That time is coming. Sooner than later. It’s very near.

And it’s been in the works now and advancing along as intended.

Getting ever closer to that day. And the darkness it brings.

And we’ve all lived through, and are still living in the first worldwide experiment to determine the degree to which the people of the world can be held, be controlled, be manipulated. By the information they are given. And that experiment was a roaring success. The COVID-19 pandemicc. That was the overture. More to come. Oh, much more to come making that look like a high school play production in comparison…

Ken Pullen, A CROOKED PATH, Thursday, February 2nd, 2023


Journalists reject objectivity as an “outmoded,” “failed concept:” and “World view of middle-aged white men”


Wednesday, February 01, 2023

By Joseph Wulfsohn

Reprinted from FOX News


A new report featured dozens of journalists and media experts who widely reject the concept of “objectivity,” which was once a longstanding principle in the news industry.

The lengthy piece, titled “Beyond Objectivity,” published last week by Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication put a spotlight on what it deems a “generational shift” when it comes to objectivity.

“[W]hen misunderstood, journalistic ‘objectivity’ or ‘balance’ can lead to so-called ‘bothsides-ism’ – a dangerous trap when covering issues like climate change or the intensifying assault on democracy,” co-authors Leonard Downie Jr. and Andrew Heyward wrote in the report’s introduction.

“At the same time, some news media reformers deride ‘objectivity’ as an unachievable or misleading goal, and many journalism practitioners no longer use the term. Newsroom leaders are confronting a generation of increasingly diverse young journalists struggling to reconcile traditional news standards with their concepts of ‘cultural context,’ ‘identity,’ ‘point of view,’ and ‘advocacy journalism.’”

They continued, “Restoring a belief in the value of fair, fact-based reporting – trustworthy news – is arguably more important than ever. Surveys consistently show that most news consumers want journalism that is free of bias. And reliable news coverage is a cornerstone of democracy. But that requires a fresh vision for how to achieve that goal – a vision that replaces outmoded ‘objectivity’ with a more relevant articulation of journalistic standard.”

Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee called advocacy in newsrooms a “real issue.” She wants readers to make up their own minds but said she doesn’t use the term objectivity “because it has become a political football.”

“If the term objectivity means the world view of middle-aged white men, it has become attacked as a word that is used to keep the status quo,” Buzbee said.

The New York Times executive editor Joseph Kahn hasn’t banned the word “objectivity” but rejected the notion that his paper has to reach “neutrality” in certain stories.

“There is no such thing as perfect neutrality, and defaulting to ‘both sides’ framing on divisive issues can be insufficient and misleading,” Kahn previously told New York magazine. “But the journalistic process needs to be objective and transparent, and we need to challenge ourselves and our readers to understand all the facts and explore a wider range of perspectives.”

Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee no longer uses the term "objectivity" since it has become a "political football" in the newsroom. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee no longer uses the term “objectivity” since it has become a “political football” in the newsroom. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images© Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Others have moved on from the principle of objectivity entirely.

“Objectivity was wrong, a failed concept,” former Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor turned ASU journalism professor Julie Wallace said. “It was a mistake to head down the path of dishonest objectivity.”

“Objectivity is not even possible,” ProPublica editor-in-chief Stephen Engelberg said. “I don’t even know what it means.”

“The journalist’s job is truth, not objectivity,” The Marshall Project founder Neil Barsky insisted. “It is getting close to the reality, notwithstanding that we all have biases and passions.”

“The consensus among younger journalists is that we got it all wrong… We are the problem. Objectivity has got to go,” The San Francisco Chronicle editor-in-chief Emilio Garcia-Ruiz similarly expressed. “They are willing to share their lived experiences to call out bulls—, despite their status in the newsroom. There can sometimes be a chasm between them and the older veteran reporters.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports editor Erik Hall also noted the “age divide growing” in the newsroom, saying, “I think more veteran journalists think ‘objective’ means tell both sides. And I think a younger generation is coming up feeling strongly that, on some issues, there is a fair way to tell it, and telling both sides isn’t the fair, or fairest, way to tell a story.”

Former Associated Press executive editor Kathleen Carroll said “objectivity” reflects the viewpoint of wealthy White men and hasn’t used the term since the 1970s.

“It’s objective by whose standards? And that standard seems to be White, educated, fairly wealthy guys,” Carroll said. “And when people don’t feel like they find themselves in news coverage, it’s because they don’t meet that definition.”

Former Associated Press executive editor Kathleen Carrol says objectivity reflects the standards of "White, educated, fairly wealthy guys." Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former Associated Press executive editor Kathleen Carrol says objectivity reflects the standards of “White, educated, fairly wealthy guys.” Mario Tama/Getty Images© Mario Tama/Getty Images

The 19th co-founder Emily Ramshaw similarly viewed objectivity as being seen “through the lens of largely White, straight men.”

Saeed Ahmed, NPR’s former director of digital news, viewed objectivity through a racial identity lens, saying, “As a journalist of color, I have been told time and again that my identity doesn’t matter, that I have to shed it all to worship at the altar of objectivity,” adding, “I bristle at that notion. My lived experiences should inform what I cover.”

Journalist Wesley Lowery previously wrote that the media “has allowed what it considers objective truth to be decided almost exclusively by white reporters and their mostly white bosses. And those selective truths have been calibrated to avoid offending the sensibilities of white readers.”

In the report’s conclusion, Downie Jr. and Heyward, former bosses at The Washington Post and CBS News respectively, wrote, “[J]ournalism must address the needs and aspirations of our increasingly diverse society more effectively than it has in the past. That means striving to reach not only an audience, but all audiences, and no longer with one-size-fits all, traditionally White male ‘objectivity,’ a journalistic concept that has lost its relevance.”