By Emmanuel Perilla
Objectivity is one of the values that is an essential part of honest journalism.
The journalist is supposed to give their audience an honest picture of events that take place. In order to do that, journalists should want to be as objective as they can in order to give the public an accurate picture of what’s going on in society.
Objectivity in the media can be twisted at times so people can just justify their own personal politics.
For example, if a journalist writes positively about a huge corporation that obviously has policies that are exploitative, they can simply claim there being ‘objective’ and decide to stick to not criticizing powerful corporations. Then, there’s also the cases where a journalist may criticize misuse of power in high places, but this person is condemned for not being “objective” enough.
Objectivity in the media should mean being able to criticize and highlight important facts and information that will be relevant to the American public.
Journalists should acknowledge that objectivity is not being a mouthpiece for rich and powerful interests, neither is it just promoting their personal politics. Journalists should remain objective and remember to never be too hesitant to criticize and report on those things that are clearly affecting the lives of people in their communities. It’s very important for journalists to understand the power of objectivity because many times the way you present news and highlight details is the difference between an honest and informative article versus one that serves to lie to the public about the actual ramifications of events that took place.
In “Understanding U.S. Journalism II: Right Wing Criticism and Political Coverage” McChesney states, “In fact, conservatives tacitly acknowledge the transparently ideological basis of the claim that journalists have all the power over the news. “The real problem for conservatives isn’t that journalists have all the power or even most of the power; the problem is that they have any power to be autonomous from owners and advertisers, whom conservatives seem to regard as having the proper political worldview and the unique right as owners to determine media content.
Clearly, not everyone is going to appreciate the power a journalist holds in giving news to the public. The role of the journalists is to be independent of any persuasion or particular interest.
Objectivity has to mean not belonging too heavily to any political view but also must mean not being afraid to question and highlight those things that are important and vital to the public.
Journalists often times make the difference between people knowing what’s at stake in their community and people being in total disconnect from current events or getting misinformation when it comes to the facts. If the journalism industry is going to prosper objectivity has to be stressed.
Journalists should stay focused on serving the public with honesty and detailed facts that truly inform them. Real objectivity in the media means being an autonomous force that has a commitment to nobody except the general public. In order for journalism to be a democratic institution, journalists need to be vigilant and understand that ultimately their job is to inform the public about what’s going on in the society.