January 13, 2005

Objectivity vs. Fairness in News Media

Adam Penenberg has a great article in Wired this week: Heartaches of Journalist Bloggers.

It starts out talking about journalist's struggle between their paying gigs and their non-paying blogs.. but on page two, gets into issues around opinion. Because blogs are often about opinion, and journalists are often held to the old objectivity standard, there is conflict.

But I wonder, if journalists were held to a fairness standard, both in their paid work, for legacy media, and in blogging, would this issue would dissipate? What if journalists were responsible for fairly conveying stories, situations, and people? If that were the case, then when they express opinions on their blogs, and the expectation of fairness applied there, would people (blog readers used to new media standards and editors used to legacy media standards) see the point of view as consistent, and therefore acceptable? Readers find transparent bias to be good, because they feel they can make up their own minds about how to see information presented, and journalists, I think, might find fairness a more reasonable standard to follow, than objectivity.

Posted by Mary Hodder at January 13, 2005 08:24 AM | TrackBack

How objective can one be? Everyone comes to a story with a point of view, a personal history, a political leaning. No one is a blank slate. Perhaps instead of the word "objective" we should use "balanced".

Posted by: Esme Vos at January 13, 2005 10:07 AM