ERIC Number: ED186896
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: 0
The Quest for Journalism's Holy Grail: Some Thoughts on the Continuing Pursuit of Objectivity and Its Implications for Professional Education.
De Mott, John
Professional journalists need to be encouraged in their quest for objectivity if the news media are to be saved from degenerating into political journals and propaganda organs. Sociologist Karl Mannheim's theory of relationalism could be the basis for an improved approach to journalistic practice and should be required reading for journalism majors and other aspiring journalists. Mannheim claims objectivity is attainable not through the exclusion of evaluations but through the critical awareness and control of them. Applying this theory to journalistic practice could help newswriters to better detect their biases, balance them with differing perspectives solicited from others, and obtain a more objective consensus concerning the "facts" of any news event. Other efforts to foster journalistic objectivity and sharper skepticism could include broadening the range of backgrounds from which the members of the profession are recruited, enlarging the scope of their education, strengthening the self-examination and self-criticism aspects of their training, teaching them the investigative skills needed to ferret out all aspects of a news event, challenging their conclusions constantly, and encouraging them to exploit as thoroughly as possible every resource possessed by a newsgathering and reporting organization to increase the variety of available viewpoints. (AEA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Journalistic Objectivity; Mannheim (Karl)
Note: Paper presented at the Regional Conference of the Mass Communications and Society Division of the Association for Education in Journalism (DeKalb, IL, April 1976).