Journalism Ethics: A Philosophical Approach

By Christopher Meyers | Go to book overview

10
Is Objective News Possible?

Carrie Figdor

Never bury the lead; of course, objective news is possible. Unfortunately, I will also conclude, it is not earnestly pursued.

The structure of this chapter is as follows. I briefly explain the nature of objective news and of the debate regarding its possibility. I then assess the main arguments for the unattainability of objective news. A close examination of these arguments shows that, contrary to widespread belief, journalists who try to provide objective news are not striving in vain. I close by discussing the effect of competing journalistic aims and other limitations on our efforts to generate objective news. I suggest that the unwarranted skepticism regarding the possibility of objective news is an artifact of the changing priorities of journalists and inadequate journalistic methods, and that the only real issue is how we can better train those journalists who want to generate objective news.


The Nature and Problem of Objective News

Objective news is essentially an epistemic kind. What is sometimes now called the “journalism of verification” is merely what yields objective news: verification (or justification) is an epistemic notion.1 The editorial adage “When it doubt, leave it out” also expresses its epistemic nature. More specifically, objective news reports are those that can provide testimonial knowledge or justified belief about some aspect of the world to those who read or hear them. To satisfy this requirement we apply epistemic standards of evaluation. For example, we ask, “Is every sentence in the report supported by sufficient objective evidence?” A statement is objectively justified if it is rational to believe on the basis of evidence that anyone should accept. For example, observing ten inert bodies in the

-153-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Journalism Ethics: A Philosophical Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 368

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.