It’s official: Today’s “journalists” have denounced of objectivity.

It’s official: Today’s “journalists” have denounced of objectivity.

A portrait of editors and reporters meeting inside today’s newsrooms where the truth is dispensed.

A breath-taking, blunt and authoritative declaration that objectivity is “outdated.” “Truth” is now the golden rule.

Objectivity: The lack of favoritism toward one side or another : freedom from biasMeriram-Webster

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.Mahatma Gandhi

You can’t handle the truth! Tom Cruise

It’s been apparent for years that much of the media has cast aside the time-honored goal of reporting the news objectively. Everyone, that is, except biased journalists themselves.

Now comes an unequivocal proclamation (read: admission) from the most high, self-appointed, archpriests of journalism practices and ethics: The Poynter Institute.

Alex Sujong Laughlin, the Institute’s editor of The Cohort, “a newsletter about gender in media.” spells it out in : “It’s possible to be a journalist and a human: The way journalists are told to perform objectivity is outdated. If we want to preserve public trust, the best thing we can do is tell the truth.”*

Rather than adapting to the rhetorical needs of an unprecedented period of democratic destabilization, legacy newsrooms are clinging to outdated values while conceding only when public opinion demands it, or when the Overton Window shifts so an issue becomes mainstream….

We can do the important work of witnessing the world, verifying truth, and contextualizing it for our readers while acknowledging our humanity and telling the truth about how these decisions will affect us personally.

Laughlin quotes copiously from The View from somewhere: Undoing the Myth o Journalistic Objectivity by Lewis Raven Wallace (a priest in the cathedral of woke journalism) about how American newspapers once were clearly partisan. Only recently (oh, just in the last 100 years or so) did someone come up with the goofy concept of objectivity. The idea, I suppose, is that objectivity is just another loathsome hangover from the past, like laws making interracial marriage illegal. (Honest to God, that’s her analogy.)

Truth-tellers? How self-delusional is that?

It’s not just that objectivity is old hat. All traces of objectivity must be expelled (if not already) from media ethics and replaced by the “truth.” Any other side of the story must be ignored because it is wrong, wrong, wrong. If any other side has to been mentioned, it must be presented in a way to belittle, dismiss or discredit as a lie.

Funny, while the waving away of objectivity as if it is a myth, no one seems to bother defining truth and how to recognize it. Never mind that philosophers and others have spent centuries arguing about what is the nature of truth.

Aristotle defines truth: To say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true” So there.

No, I can’t explain that either. But here’s something else that’s funny: Relativism. as practiced by today’s know-it-alls. It’s another complex metaphysical puzzle, but to this layman’s poor understanding, it suggests that determining the truth of something depends on situations and circumstances. One person’s truth is as good as someone else’s differing truth.

If that’s, err, true, then how can journalists know the truth? In a newsroom, do reporters and copy editors share the same standards of what is true in a story, of which “facts” are clearly facts that reflect the real reality, By what arrogant rule or law is a journalist’s perception of the truth any more certain than a readers? How do they know better than we ignoramuses?

As an old, old school journalist, I cling to the idea that objectivity is a goal, one that’s realized by reporting what I see and hear. I means keeping myself–my presence and beliefs– out of the story. And telling all possible sides. Maybe that formula is too simpleminded for today’s journalists.

Objectivity is the coin of the realm for scientists and engineers, judges and juries. Why should journalism be the exception?

*How odd. The journalism’ formula for regaining the public’s trust is to exercise the bad practice that lost the public’s trust in the first place: Telling readers, “We decide what the truth is and only we give it to you, you ignorant fools.”

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