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Week 8. CCT300 – Labs. Objectivity in Media. CCT300 – Critical Analysis of Media October 29, 2009. The Real World View. Only in a liberal western democracy, is it expected that a journalist should strive for objectivity, balance, and a lack of bias .

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cct300 labs

Week 8

CCT300 – Labs

Objectivity in Media

CCT300 – Critical Analysis of Media

October 29, 2009

the real world view
The Real World View
  • Only in a liberal western democracy, is it expected that a journalist should strive for objectivity, balance, and a lack of bias.
  • Other countries see the media’s role differently … as an arm of the state, for the good of the people.
  • But even if desirable, is it possible to achieve any of these?
definitions objectivity
Definitions: Objectivity
  • Reporting that emphasizes eyewitness accounts of events, corroboration of facts with multiple sources and "balance”.
  • Reporting things without bias, as if one just came to Earth from another planet.
  • A neutral point of view, not taking a stand on any issues on which there is some disagreement. Instead, journalists are simply to report what "both sides" of an issue tell them.
problems with objectivity
Problems With Objectivity
  • The problem with the multiple source / balance approach is
    • It assumes there are only two (or three) sides to an issue
    • It assumes that all ‘sides’ are equal
examples of bias
Examples Of Bias
  • Fox News Network (for examples, see Robert Greenwald’s “Outfoxed” –
  • Anything by Michael Moore(Video samples from Fahrenheit 9/11 –
in the bias of the beholder
In the Bias of the Beholder
  • Can word choice can change the slant of a story?ttp://
  • Does fear of being biased damage journalism? Columbia Journalism Review’s Brent Cunningham believes so:
should we embrace bias then
Should we embrace Bias, then?
  • Should we acknowledge our position instead rather than hiding our views?
  • Can any human being be unbiased (and still be breathing?)
  • Is bias a bad thing?
is bias built in
Is Bias Built In?
  • Some argue that bias is intrinsic to the news media. Examples include:
  • Commercial Bias
  • Temporal Bias
  • Visual Bias
  • Bad News Bias
  • Narrative Bias
  • Status Quo Bias
  • Fairness Bias
  • Expediency Bias
  • Glory bias

Dr. Andrew R. Cline,

Assistant Professor of Journalism,

Missouri State University

an alternate suggestion
An Alternate Suggestion
  • “Objectivity called for a consistent method of testing information, precisely so that personal and cultural biases would not undermine the accuracy of journalistic work.“ Kodi Barth - Lecturer in Journalism, United States International University-Nairobi
  • In pairs take a look at Fair’s FAQ on objective media in journalism:
  • Select a Canadian Newspaper from this list:
  • Select an article under any section and critically analyze it using FAIR’s FAQ. Follow the questions and make an assessment. Decide as a pair whether you consider this specific news article objective. Explain why or why not.