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Journalistic objectivity is a considerable notion within the discussion of
journalistic professionalism Journalistic ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and good practice applicable to journalists. This subset of media ethics is known as journalism's professional "code of ethics" and the "canons of journalism". The basic codes and ca ...
. Journalistic objectivity may refer to fairness, disinterestedness,
fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things ...
uality, and
nonpartisanship Nonpartisanism is a lack of affiliation with, and a lack of bias toward, a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a pa ...
, but most often encompasses all of these qualities. First evolving as a practice in the 18th century, a number of critiques and alternatives to the notion have emerged since, fuelling ongoing and dynamic
discourse Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy) ...

discourse
surrounding the ideal of objectivity in journalism. Most newspapers and TV stations depend upon
news agencies A news agency is an organization that gathers news News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different Media (communication), media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic comm ...
for their material, and each of the four major global agencies (
Agence France-Presse Agence France-Presse (AFP) is an international news agency headquartered in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population ...
(formerly the Havas agency),
Associated Press The Associated Press (AP) is an American non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, publi ...

Associated Press
,
Reuters Reuters (, ) is an international owned by . It employs around 2,500 journalists and 600 s in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters is one of the largest news agencies in the world. The agency was established in in 1851 by the German-born . ...
, and
Agencia EFE Agencia EFE, S.A. () is a Spanish international news agency A news agency is an organization that gathers news News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different Media (communication), media: word of ...

Agencia EFE
) began with and continue to operate on a basic philosophy of providing a single objective news feed to all subscribers. That is, they do not provide separate feeds for conservative or liberal newspapers. Journalist
Jonathan Fenby Jonathan Fenby CBE (born 11 November 1942) is a British analyst, author, historian and journalist. In terms of his business career, he has served as the Chairperson of the China Team at the research service TSLombard. He was previously a found ...
has explained the notion:
To achieve such wide acceptability, the agencies avoid overt partiality. The demonstrably correct information is their stock-in-trade. Traditionally, they report at a reduced level of responsibility, attributing their information to a spokesman, the press, or other sources. They avoid making judgments and steer clear of doubt and ambiguity. Though their founders did not use the word, objectivity is the philosophical basis for their enterprises – or failing that, widely acceptable neutrality.
Objectivity in journalism aims to help the audience make up their own mind about a story, providing the facts alone and then letting audiences interpret those on their own. To maintain objectivity in journalism, journalists should present the facts whether or not they like or agree with those facts. Objective reporting is meant to portray issues and events in a neutral and unbiased manner, regardless of the writer's opinion or personal beliefs.Clark, Roy Peter
"The Pyramid of Journalism Competence: What Journalists Need to Know"
Pointer. 2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.


Definitions

Sociologist
Michael Schudson Michael S. Schudson Michael S. Schudson (born November 3, 1946) is professor of journalism in the graduate school of journalism of Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the Ci ...
suggests that "the belief in objectivity is a faith in 'facts,' a distrust in 'values,' and a commitment to their segregation". Objectivity also outlines an institutional role for
journalist A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worthy form and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called journalism ...

journalist
s as a
fourth estate The term Fourth Estate or fourth power refers to the press and news media trucks and photojournalists gathered outside the Prudential Financial Prudential Headquarters, headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, Newark, United States in August 2004 ...
, a body that exists apart from government and large interest groups. Journalistic objectivity requires that a journalist not be on either side of an argument. The journalist must report only the facts and not a personal attitude toward the facts. While objectivity is a complex and dynamic notion that may refer to a multitude of techniques and practices, it generally refers to the idea of "three distinct, yet interrelated, concepts": truthfulness, neutrality, and detachment. Truthfulness is a commitment to reporting only accurate and truthful information, without skewing any facts or details to improve the story or better align an issue with any certain agenda. Neutrality suggests that stories be reported in an unbiased, even-handed, and impartial manner. Under this notion, journalists are to side with none of the parties involved, and simply provide the relevant facts and information of all. The third idea, detachment, refers to the emotional approach of the journalist. Essentially, reporters should not only approach issues in an unbiased manner but also with a dispassionate and emotionless attitude. Through this strategy, stories can be presented in a rational and calm manner, letting the audience make up their minds without any influences from the media.


History

The modern notion of objectivity in journalism is largely due to the work of
Walter Lippmann Walter Lippmann (September 23, 1889 – December 14, 1974) was an American writer, reporter and political commentator. With a career spanning 60 years he is famous for being among the first to introduce the concept of Cold War, coining the ter ...
. Lippmann was the first to widely call for journalists to use the scientific method for gathering information. Lippmann called for journalistic objectivity after the excesses of
yellow journalism Yellow journalism and yellow press are American terms for journalism and associated newspapers that present little or no legitimate, well-researched news while instead using eye-catching headlines for increased sales. Techniques may include ex ...
. He noted that the yellows at the time had served their purpose, but that the people needed to receive the actual news, and not a "romanticized version of it". The term ''objectivity'' was not applied to journalistic work until the 20th century, but it had fully emerged as a guiding principle by the 1890s. Michael Schudson, among a number of other communication scholars and historians, agree that the idea of objectivity has prevailed in dominant discourse among journalists in the United States since the appearance of modern newspapers in the Jacksonian Era of the 1830s. These papers transformed the press amidst the democratization of politics, the expansion of a market economy, and the growing authority of an entrepreneurial, urban middle class. Before then, American newspapers were expected to present a partisan viewpoint, not a neutral one. The need for objectivity first occurred to Associated Press editors who realized that partisanship would narrow their potential market. Their goal was to reach all newspapers and leave it to the individual papers to decide on what slanting and commentary were needed. Lawrence Gobright, the AP chief in Washington, explained the philosophy of objectivity to Congress in 1856:
My business is to communicate facts. My instructions do not allow me to make any comments upon the facts which I communicate. My dispatches are sent to papers of all manner of politics, and the editors say they are able to make their own comments upon the facts which are sent to them. I, therefore confine myself to what I consider legitimate news. I do not act as a politician belonging to any school, but try to be truthful and impartial. My dispatches are a merely dry matter of fact and detail.
In the first decade of the twentieth century, it was uncommon to see a sharp divide between facts and values. However, Stuart Allan (1997) suggests that, during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, scholar propaganda campaigns, as well as the rise of "press agents and publicity experts", fostered the growing cynicism among the public towards state institutions and "official channels of information". The elevation of objectivity thus constituted an effort to re-legitimatize the news-press, as well as the state in general. Some historians, like Gerald Baldasty, have observed that objectivity went hand in hand with the need to make profits in the newspaper business by attracting advertisers. In this economic analysis, publishers did not want to offend any potential advertising clients and therefore encouraged news editors and reporters to strive to present all sides of an issue. Advertisers would remind the press that partisanship hurts circulation, and, consequently, advertising revenues—thus, objectivity was sought. Others have proposed a political explanation for the rise of objectivity; scholars like Richard Kaplan have argued that political parties needed to lose their hold over the loyalties of voters and the institutions of government before the press could feel free to offer a nonpartisan, "impartial" account of news events. This change occurred following the critical 1896 election and the subsequent reform of the
Progressive Era The Progressive Era (1896–1916) was a period of widespread social activism Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in Social change, social, Political campaign, political, Economics, economic, or Natural ...
. Later, during the period following
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the newly formalized rules and practices of objectivity led to a brief national consensus and temporary suspension of negative public opinion; however, doubts and uncertainties in "the institutions of
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation ("direct democracy"), or to cho ...

democracy
and
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
" resurfaced in the period of civil unrest during the 1960s and 1970s, ultimately leading to the emergence of the ''critique'' of objectivity. In conclusion, there are three key factors in the origin of objectivity. The transition from a political model of journalism to a commercial model requires the production of content that can be marketed across the political and ideological spectrum. The telegraph imposes pressures on journalists to prioritize the most important facts at the beginning of the story and adopt a simplified, homogenized and generic style that could appeal to geographically diverse audiences. In the early 20th century, journalism started to define itself as a professional occupation that required special training, unique skills and self-regulation according to ethical principles (Professionalization normalized the regime of objectivity as the foundation of good journalism, providing benefits to journalists and editors/publishers. For most of the 19th century, most of the publications and news were written by one person. Writers could express their own perspectives and opinions. However, since the 1880s, Americans started to become interested in some scientific theories and facts which narrowed the ways that writers could express their feelings. The use of technology led to more productivity and control. New tech in the news process has worked to establish a discourse of speed. The discourse of speed has also become stronger and more encompassing over time. The transformation of the newspaper produced a medium requiring a fairly sophisticated team of many different kinds of laborers. Journalists are expected to possess technical skills in computer-based and new media technologies to some extent, placing new demands on journalists now.


Criticisms

Some scholars and journalists criticize the understanding of objectivity as neutrality or nonpartisanship, arguing that it does a disservice to the public because it fails to attempt to find truth. They also argue that such objectivity is nearly impossible to apply in practice—newspapers inevitably take a point of view in deciding what stories to cover, which to feature on the front page, and what sources they quote. The media critics Edward S. Herman and
Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gesture ...

Noam Chomsky
have advanced a
propaganda model The propaganda model is a conceptual model A conceptual model is a depiction, representation of a system. It consists of concepts used to help people knowledge, know, understanding, understand, or simulation, simulate a subject the model represents ...
hypothesis proposing that such a notion of objectivity results in heavily favoring government viewpoints and large corporations. Mainstream commentators accept that
news value News values are "criteria that influence the selection and presentation of events as published news". These values help explain what makes something "newsworthy". Initially labelled "news factors", news values are widely credited to Johan Galtung ...
drives selection of stories, but there is some debate as to whether catering to an audience's level of interest in a story makes the selection process non-objective. Another example of an objection to objectivity, according to communication scholar
David Mindich David Mindich (born 1963 in New York City) is a press critic, media historian, and professor at Saint Michael's College Saint Michael's College (St. Mikes or Saint Michael's) is a private, Roman Catholic universities and colleges in the United S ...
, was the coverage that the major papers (most notably the ''
New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publicatio ...
'') gave to the
lynching Lynching is an extrajudicial killing An extrajudicial killing (also known as extrajudicial execution or extralegal killing) is the homicide, killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any Judiciary, judicial proc ...

lynching
of thousands of African Americans during the 1890s. News stories of the period described the hanging, immolation and mutilation of people by mobs with detachment and, through the regimen of objectivity, news writers often attempted to construct a "
false balance False balance, also bothsidesism, is a media bias #REDIRECT Media bias Media bias is the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of many events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. T ...

false balance
" of these accounts by recounting the alleged transgressions of the victims that provoked the lynch mobs to fury. Mindich suggests that by enabling practices of objectivity and allowing them to "basically unquestioned", it may have had the effect of normalizing the practice of lynching. In a more recent example, scholars Andrew Calcutt and Phillip Hammond (2011) note that since the 1990s, war reporting (especially) has increasingly come to criticize and reject the practice of objectivity. In 1998, a
BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London. It is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcasting, broadcaster in the world by ...

BBC
reporter,
Martin Bell Martin Bell, (born 31 August 1938) is a British UNICEF (UNICEF UK) Ambassador, a former broadcast war reporter and former independent politician who became the Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) for Tatton (UK Parl ...
, noted that he favoured a "journalism of attachment", over the previously sought after dispassionate approach. Similarly, a
CNN The Cable News Network (CNN) is a multinational news-based pay television Pay television, also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription The ...

CNN
war correspondent A war correspondent is a journalist A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worthy form and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done ...
from the US,
Christiane Amanpour Christiane Maria Heideh Amanpour (; fa, کریستین امان‌پور, Kristiane Amānpur; born 12 January 1958) is a British-Iranian journalist and television host. Amanpour is the Chief International Anchor for CNN and host of CNN Intern ...
, stated that in some circumstances "neutrality can mean you are an accomplice to all sorts of evil". Each of these opinions stems from scholar's and journalist's critique of objectivity as too "heartless" or "forensic" to report the human natured and emotionally charged issues found in war and conflict reporting. As discussed above, with the growth of mass media, especially from the 19th century, news advertising became the most important source of media revenue. Whole audiences needed to be engaged across communities and regions to maximize advertising revenue. This led to " urnalistic jectivity as an industry standard a set of conventions allowing the news to be presented as all things to all people".Lynch, J. & McGoldrick, A. (2005). ''Peace Journalism''. Gloucestershire: Hawthorn Press, p. 203 In modern journalism, especially with the emergence of 24-hour news cycles, speed is of the essence in responding to breaking stories. It is therefore not possible for reporters to decide "from first principles" how they will report each and every story that presents itself—thus, some scholars argue that mere convention (versus a true devotion to truth-seeking) has come to govern much of journalism. Brent Cunningham, the managing editor of ''
Columbia Journalism Review The ''Columbia Journalism Review'' (''CJR'') is a biannual magazine for professional journalist A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worthy form and d ...
'',Brent Cunningham's faculty page
Columbia Journalism School, accessed 20 December 2012
argues in a 2003 article that objectivity excuses lazy reporting. He suggests that objectivity makes us passive recipients of news, rather than aggressive analyzers and critics of it. According to Cunningham, the nut of the tortured relationship with objectivity lies within a number of conflicting diktats that the press was subjected to operate under: be neutral yet investigative; be disengaged yet have an impact; and be fair-minded yet have an edge. Cunningham, however, argues that reporters by and large are not ideological warriors; rather, they are imperfect people performing a difficult job that is crucial to society and, " spite all our important and necessary attempts to minimize ndividual'shumanity, it can't be any other way," Cunningham concludes. The debate about objectivity has also occurred within the photojournalism field. In 2011, Italian photographer Ruben Salvadori challenged the expectation of objective truth that the general public associates to photojournalism with his project "Photojournalism Behind the Scenes". By including the traditionally invisible photographer into the frame, Salvadori sought to ignite a discussion about the ethics of the profession, and indicate a need for audiences to be active viewers who understand and recognize the potential subjectivity of the photographic medium. Another notion circulating around the critique of objectivity is proposed by scholar Judith Lichtenberg. She points to the logical inconsistency that arises when scholars or journalists criticize journalism for failing to be objective, while simultaneously proposing that ''there is no such thing'' as objectivity. Underpinning critiques of objectivity that arose in the 1970s and 1980s, this dual theory—which Lichtenberg refers to as a "compound assault on objectivity"Lichtenberg, Judith (1991) 'In Defense of Objectivity', in James Curran and Michael Gurevitch (eds.), Mass Media and Society, London: Arnold.—invalidates itself, as each element of the argument repudiates the other. Lichtenberg agrees with other scholars that view objectivity as mere conventional practice: she states that "much of what goes under the name of objectivity reflects shallow understanding of it". Thus, she suggests that these practices, rather than the overall notion of objectivity (whose primary aim, according to Lichtenberg, is only to seek and pursue truth), should really be the target of critique. Media critic and professor of journalism
Jay Rosen Jay Rosen (born May 5, 1956) is a writer, and a professor of journalism at New York University. Rosen is a contributor to '' De Correspondent'' and a member of the George Foster Peabody Awards board of directors. Biography Rosen has been on ...

Jay Rosen
has used the term to refer to the potential negative effects of journalists' adoption of neutrality in reporting, whereby journalists may disinform their audience by creating the impression that they have an authoritative impartiality between conflicting positions on an issue. See also, prior to Rosen's use of the term: Rosen uses the term to criticize journalists who hide behind the appearance of journalistic objectivity so as to gain an unearned position of authority or trust with their audience; he advocates for
transparency Transparency, transparence or transparent most often refer to transparency and translucency, the physical property of allowing the transmission of light through a material. They may also refer to: Literal uses * Transparency (photography), a sti ...
as a better way of legitimately earning trust. Rosen borrowed the term from philosopher
Thomas Nagel Thomas Nagel (; born July 4, 1937) is an American philosopher. He is University Professor of Philosophy and Law, Emeritus, at New York University New York University (NYU) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private ...

Thomas Nagel
's 1986 book '' The View from Nowhere''. Many other media commentators have used the term in similar ways. Writer Elias Isquith argues in a 2014 article for ''
Salon Salon may refer to: * Beauty salon A beauty salon or beauty parlor (beauty parlour), or sometimes beauty shop, is an establishment dealing with cosmetic Cosmetic may refer to: *Cosmetics, or make-up, substances to enhance the beauty of the hu ...
'' that "the view from nowhere not only leads to sloppy thinking but actually leaves the reader ''less'' informed than she would be had she simply read an unapologetically ideological source or even, in some cases, nothing at all". In 2019, journalist Lewis Raven Wallace published a book advocating the opposite of the view from nowhere: the ''view from somewhere''.


Alternatives

Some argue that a more appropriate standard should be
fairness Fairness or being fair can refer to: * Justice * The character in the award-nominated musical comedy ''A Theory of Justice: The Musical!, A Theory of Justice: The Musical.'' * Equity (law), a legal principle allowing for the use of discretion a ...
and
accuracy In a set of measurements, accuracy is closeness of the measurements to a specific value, while precision is the closeness of the measurements to each other. ''Accuracy'' has two definitions: # More commonly, it is a description of ''systematic er ...

accuracy
(as enshrined in the names of groups like
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Fairness or being fair can refer to: * Justice Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes "deserving" being impacted upon by numerous fiel ...
). Under this standard, taking sides on an issue would be permitted as long as the side taken was accurate and the other side was given a fair chance to respond. Many professionals believe that true objectivity in journalism is not possible and reporters must seek balance in their stories (giving all sides their respective points of view), which fosters fairness. Brent Cunningham suggests that reporters should understand their inevitable biases, so they can explore what the accepted narratives may be, and then work against these as much as possible. He points out that " need deep reporting and real understanding, but we also need reporters to acknowledge all that they don't know, and not try to mask that shortcoming behind a gloss of attitude, or drown it in a roar of oversimplified assertions". Cunningham suggests the following to solve the apparent controversies of objectivity: * Journalists should acknowledge, humbly and publicly, that what they do is far more subjective and far less detached than the aura of 'objectivity' implies. He proposes that this will not end the charges of bias, but rather allow journalists to defend what they do from a more realistic and less hypocritical position. * Journalists should be free and encouraged to develop expertise and to use it to sort through competing claims, identifying and explaining the underlying assumptions of those claims, and making judgments about what readers and viewers need to know and understand about what is happening. In the words of another scholar, Faina (2012) suggests that modern journalists may function as "sensemakers" within the shifting contemporary journalistic environment.Faina, J. (2012). Public journalism is a joke: The case for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. ''Journalism,14''(4), 541-555. doi:10.1177/1464884912448899 Notable departures from objective news work also include the
muckraking The muckrakers were reform-minded journalists in the Progressive Era The Progressive Era (1896–1916) was a period of widespread social activism Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in Social change, ...
of
Ida Tarbell Ida Minerva Tarbell (November 5, 1857January 6, 1944) was an American writer, investigative journalist Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such as serious crime ...

Ida Tarbell
and
Lincoln Steffens Lincoln Austin Steffens (April 6, 1866 – August 9, 1936) was an American investigative journalist Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such as serious crimes, pol ...

Lincoln Steffens
, the
New Journalism New Journalism is a style of news writing and journalism, developed in the 1960s and 1970s, that uses literary techniques deemed unconventional at the time. It is characterized by a subjective perspective, a literary style reminiscent of long-form ...
of
Tom Wolfe Thomas Kennerly Wolfe Jr. (March 2, 1930 – May 14, 2018)Some sources say 1931; ''The New York Times'' and Reuters both initially reported 1931 in their obituaries before changing to 1930. See and was an American author and journalist widely ...
, the
underground press The terms underground press or clandestine press refer to periodicals and publications that are produced without official approval, illegally or against the wishes of a dominant (governmental, religious, or institutional) group. In specific rece ...
of the 1960s, and public journalism.Min, S. (2016). Conversation through journalism: Searching for organizing principles of public and citizen journalism. ''Journalism,17''(5), 567-582. doi:10.1177/1464884915571298 For news related to conflict,
peace journalism Peace journalism has been developed from research that indicates that often news about conflict has a value bias toward violence. It also includes practical methods for correcting this bias by producing journalism in both the mainstream and alt ...
may provide an alternative by introducing "insights" of social "science" into the journalism field, specifically through disciplines such as conflict analysis,
conflict resolution Conflict-of-interest editing on Wikipedia, Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of Conflict (process), conflict and Revenge, retribution. Committed group members attemp ...

conflict resolution
,
peace research Peace and conflict studies is a social science field that identifies and analyzes violence, violent and nonviolence, nonviolent behaviours as well as the structural violence, structural mechanisms attending Conflict (process), conflicts (including s ...
and
social psychology Social psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern scienc ...

social psychology
. The application of this "empirical" "research" to the reporting of conflict may thus replace the "unacknowledged" conventions (see above) which govern the "non-scientific" practices of 'objectivity' of journalism.


Crowdfunding

Recently, many scholars and journalists have increasingly become attuned to the shifts occurring within the newspaper industry, and general upheaval of the journalistic environment, as it adjusts to the new
digital era The Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age) is a historical periodHuman history is commonly divided into three main Era, eras — Ancient history, Ancient, Post-classical history, Post-classical, and Mode ...
of the 21st century.Hunter, Andrea (2014). "Crowdfunding independent and freelance journalism: Negotiating journalistic norms of autonomy and objectivity". ''new media & society''. Sage. 17 (2): 272–288. In the face of this, the practice of
crowdfunding Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, in modern times typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and Alternative Finance, alternative ...

crowdfunding
is increasingly being utilized by journalists to fund independent and/or alternative projects, establishing it as another relevant alternative practice to consider in the discussion of journalistic objectivity. Crowdfunding allows journalists to pursue stories of interest to them or that otherwise may not be covered adequately for a number of reasons. Crowdfunding supports journalists by funding necessary components like reporting equipment, computers, travel expenses if necessary, and overhead costs like office space or paying other staff on their team. A key component of crowdfunding and a significant motivator for journalists to use it is the lack of corporate backing. This means that the journalist has the autonomy to make editorial decisions at their sole discrection but there is equally no financial support. According to a study conducted by Hunter (2014), journalists engaged in a crowdfunding campaign all held a similar opinion that their funders did not have control over the content and that it was the journalist who maintained ultimate jurisdiction. However, this pronouncement was complicated by the sense of accountability or responsibility incited in journalists towards their funders. Hunter (2014) notes that this may have the effect of creating a power imbalance between funders and the journalist, as journalists want to maintain editorial control, but it is in fact the funders that decide whether the project will be a success or not. To combat this, Hunter (2014) proposes the following strategies that journalists may employ to maintain a more objective approach if desired: * Constructing an imaginary 'firewall' between themselves and their audiences * Limiting investment from any single source * Clearly defining the relationship they desire with funders at the outset of the project The type of relationship and potential pressures the journalist may feel depends on the type of investor with whom they are working, as there are passive and active investors. Passive investors will not be involved beyond making a donation on the crowdfunding platform, leaving everything up to the discretion of the journalist. In contrast, active investors have a more active role in the production of the journalistic piece, which can take various forms that may include the investor providing feedback or ideas as well as receiving early copies of the work prior to its public release. Some journalists from the study firmly held the opinion that impartial accounts and a detached, namely "objective", reporting style should continue to govern, even within a crowdfunding context. Others, however, advocated that point-of-view journalism and accurate reporting are not
mutually exclusive In logic and probability theory, two events (or propositions) are mutually exclusive or disjoint if they cannot both occur at the same time. A clear example is the set of outcomes of a single coin toss, which can result in either heads or tails, ...
ideals, and thus journalists still may ascribe to quality factual reporting, sans the traditional practices or understanding of objectivity. The study on crowdfunding done by Hunter (2014) showed that audiences are keen to fund projects with a specific point of view or pieces of
advocacy journalism Advocacy journalism is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of ...
. Journalists are often using crowdfunding to pursue stories with a point-of-view that large corporations do not pursue adequately. The journalist explains the goal of the work they are trying to pursue and what resources are needed for it on crowdfunding platforms. Based on this information, funders decide to contribute or not. The desire or acceptance of opinionated journalism is especially clear with passive investors because they donate based on the journalist's pitch and let the journalist produce what they want. They essentially just want to support the journalist as an individual and allow them the freedom to pursue the project.


See also

*
Access journalism Access journalism refers to journalism Journalism is the production and distribution of report Image:Hurt Report cover page.png, 220px, Example of a front page of a report A report is a document that presents information in an organized fo ...
*
Communicative rationality Communicative rationality or communicative reason (german: kommunikative Rationalität) is a theory or set of theories which describes human rationality Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agree ...
* Degrees of truth *
Journalistic interventionism Journalistic interventionism "reflects the extent to which journalists A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worthy form and disseminates it to the publi ...
*
Media bias #REDIRECT Media bias Media bias is the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of many events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. The term "media bias" implies a pervasive or widespread b ...
*
Obscurantism Obscurantism and Obscurationism ( or ) describe the practice of deliberately presenting information in an imprecise, abstruse manner designed to limit further inquiry and understanding. There are two historical and intellectual denotations of ''Ob ...
* Okrent's law *
Source criticism Source criticism (or information evaluation) is the process of evaluating an information source, i.e. a document, a person, a speech, a fingerprint, a photo, an observation, or anything used in order to obtain knowledge. In relation to a given purp ...
*
Strong objectivity Strong objectivity is a term coined by feminist philosopher Sandra Harding Sandra G. Harding (born 1935) is an United States, American philosopher of Feminist philosophy, feminist and postcolonial theory, epistemology, research methodology, and p ...
*
Theory of justification Justification (also called epistemic justification) is a concept in epistemology Epistemology (; ) is the Outline of philosophy, branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, ...
* Wikipedia:Neutral point of view


Citations


General sources

* Kaplan, Richard. 2002. ''Politics and the American Press: The Rise of Objectivity, 1865–1920''. New York: Cambridge University Press. * Schudson, Michael. 1978. ''Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers'' New York: Basic Books. * Schudson, Michael. 1997. "The Sociology of News Production". In ''Social Meaning of News: A Text-Reader''. Dan Berkowitz, ed. pp. 7–22. Thousand Oaks: Sage.


Further reading

*Herman, Edward S. and Chomsky, Noam. 1988. ''Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media''. New York: Pantheon. *Mindich, David T. Z. 1998. ''Just the Facts: How "Objectivity" Came to Define American Journalism''. New York: New York University Press. * * Kaplan, Richard,
"The Origins of Objectivity in American Journalism"
in Stuart Allan (ed.), ''The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism Studies'' (2009). * Min, S. (2016). "Conversation through journalism: Searching for organizing principles of public and citizen journalism". ''Journalism'', 17(5), 567–582. .


External links


Chart – Real and Fake News (2016)/Vanessa Oterobasis



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{{DEFAULTSORT:Objectivity (Journalism) Articles containing video clips Journalism standards Media bias