100 articles – ‘The Twilight of Objectivity’

22 September 2011

Written by: Lawrie Zion

‘The Twilight of Objectivity’ by Michael Kinsley

The humble newspaper is not the only journalistic medium that is under threat thanks to the boom of the internet. Questions are now being raised about the viability of television news. Will people still tune in at the same time every night to watch the same impersonal broadcast? Or are the more personalised and sometimes less objective websites, podcasts and Twitter feeds the news bulletins of the future?

In his article, ‘The Twilight of Objectivity’, which was published in The Washington Post in 2006, Michael Kinsley argues the threat of losing audiences has led many television networks in America to depart from objective reporting in favour of the more popular emotively charged styles of CNN’s Anderson Cooper or Fox‘s Bill O’Reilly.

The idea of objectivity is held highly in journalism, but rarely achieved. While Kinsey acknowledges the value of neutrality in the media, he believes that it often comes about artificially and is at times used to disguise bias. Kinsey reminds us that being opinionated doesn’t mean the standard journalistic practices of checking factual accuracy and transparency have to abandoned.

The state of network television isn’t a glowing endorsement for less neutrality in journalism, but if the current trend continues, the ‘twilight of objectivity’ in journalism could be upon us, which according to Kinsey may not necessarily be a bad thing.

Jonathan Wilkinson is studying the Graduate Diploma of Journalism at La Trobe University and is the current deputy editor of upstart. You’ll find him on Twitter: @JonoWilkinson

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