Sunday, October 03, 2004

The objective truth

Bill Steigerwald gives the straight dope about America's "objective" news sources.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That said, J, the reason why you and Copeland have the best blogs in town (I believe) is because you once labored as newsmen. There is a feeling in the selection of your postings that your job is to portray the complexity of life, not the partisan/hack version of reality.

I would rather read about Kerry here than on Goose3five, which basically is the rubber-stamped party line on anything, and there's a entreaty to join Kerry's team running on top.

You listen to criticism and brook dissent, and argue right back. I believe these qualities were inherited from real reporting experience.

While the standard of "objectivity" is impossible to attain, doesn't the artifice of pursuing it at least (in general) lead to better reading?

5:44 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...


Perhaps it is how some news outlets choose to pursue or interpret objectivity that can be problematic. A lot of reporting seems stripped of context as well as skepticism because many reporters believe that being objective means giving equal weight to all sides of an argument or issue. I don't think there is anything wrong with a news report that declares that one side or the other is flat-out wrong. Of course, if you are going to report that way, you need to lay out your biases for your audience. My only problem with Fox News is that they pretend like they aren't biased. Just call yourself a conservative news source and be done with it.

I guess what I am saying is that you can be fair without being objective, and that fairness is a higher virtue.

I'm not sure I'm articulating this well. You should check out "The Sound and the Fury" by Eric Alterman; I think he makes the case better than I.

6:04 PM


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