Thursday, December 2, 2010

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Do: ‘Objectivity’ in the Age of the Internet

Alan Mutter, a media critic who is both wise and smart, has pointed to the elephant in the room: journalists aren’t objective. Can’t be, really (though many try). But their biases are so mundane, he argues, that these collections of predilections and conflict-appearing life facts certainly don’t disqualify the conscientious ones from being respected reporters — if the rest of us know about them instead of treating them like the insane aunt you won’t admit is locked in the cellar.

Mutter notes that the history of journalism is about partisanship, driven by newspaper owners with agendas. “Objectivity was not their objective,” he says. But it’s no accident that the internet — blogs, Facebook, Twitter — has accelerated the discussion not only of who is a journalist but how “objective” a journalist has to be.

Full post at Epicenter.

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