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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.