This class has certainly been one that has taught me a lot. Heck, not only that but it has also made me aware of influences on my everyday life.
For starters I enjoyed the discussions concerning the way social networking affects our lives in ways of getting political news. A perfect example of this discussion becoming a reality took place last evening when I was checking my Twitter before beginning some homework. While, I was scrolling through the posts I stumbled across one stating that President Obama was to give a speech on an undisclosed topic. From here I quickly turned on the news and watched until reporters were able to confirm that the United States had the body of Osama Bin Laden. From there I continued to watch until President Obama came on to speak. Without the use of this social network, I would have never known what was going on. I related all of this information back to our political information sources discussions; it was very neat.
From here I was able to connect my life to another one of our interesting discussions. This one was concerning the concept that Presidency had to do with strategy and image. After watching the speech given by Barack Obama concerning Bin Laden’s death I was able to explain the aspects of this interesting in class discussion to my roommates. I told them that this was going to be good for Obama’s approval ratings and re-election, just as 9/11 was a positive thing for former President Bush’s campaign. The connect I was able to make made this class not only more relevant to my everyday life but made me appreciate the discussions that I previously found enjoyable.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the book “The Selling of the President” and our discussions following that. Not only were they extremely interesting but also applicable to politics today. It opened my eyes about what exactly was going on.
While I found almost every aspect of this class to be interesting and worth my while I would not rate the discussions concerning Media Objectivity as one of my favorite. However, it was still some what interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on the matter.
All in all, this class included many topics and discussions that I found to be worth my while, not only as something that was enjoyable but something that I was able to relate to my life as well.
…and the blog topic of the day is (drumroll please):
Is the Daily Show with John Stewart and/or the Colbert Report really political news?
I feel like this question is one that could yield many different results. One of those questions that the answer just depends who you are asking. If asking someone who thrives on “hard news” their answer to this question is most likely going to be a solid no. When asking a media savvy young adult, they would probably say yes. If you are asking John Stewart and Stephen Colbert you might want to take a look at their websites.
According to the Daily Show’s website,
“The Daily Show is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning program that takes a reality-based look at news, trends, pop culture, current events, politics, sports and entertainment with an alternative point of view.”
They claim to be “unburdened” by the standards of journalism today and even accurate facts. With this in mind they still claim to present political news. This political news, however, is just spun in a satirical light. The Colbert Report also has a website. They claim to be a spin off of the Daily Show starring a political humorist on a satirical television show. So itsofacto, they too claim to be news but held to the same lack of standards as The Colbert Report.
These shows are presenting politics in a humorous way that draws the attention of a younger generation. This brings me back to our class discussion last Thursday. Those who seek out political information are more likely to promote political participation. AKA those watching these two programs are more likely to promote political participation.
As is becomes more and more popular for the general public to gain their information through television and internet the main “problem” that comes to light is the biased views of one outlet compared to another.
When you talk to people they want to believe that they are watching a telecast that is objective. They want to believe that everything they watch isn’t geared towards one crowd or another. They want to believe that they are just given the facts and they form their own opinions. But think about this, if someone had never watched television before and had no political affiliation but was trying to form a stance they would first watch something that aesthetically appealed to their senses. They then would take in the information from the two different outlets and slowly, and sometimes subconsciously, lean one way more than the other. For example, if they happened to like Bill O’Reilly because of his personality and the way that the show was put together they would start to buy into the views of O’Reilly, which would result in a more conservative way of thinking. Because of this, the viewer, who at one time didn’t have a political stance would become a Republican simply because they tuned into Fox and started buying into the way of thinking like a right-winger. They could even end up in this category without necessarily believing in all the conservative thoughts and views but because the way that it was presented it makes more sense to them.
These news outlets hate to be tagged as a non-objective voice and will fight to the bitter end to prove that they are fair. Fox goes so far as to say “We report; You decide.” They know how everyone looks at them but they love to fight it and show cases where they feel like they are being completely objective. If they report the facts but not all the facts, mainly only the facts that benefit them, then are they being bias? I don’t think so and I think that’s how they think when they say that they aren’t biased.
Now let me put this into my language. I’m a big Missouri athletics fan so if I want to watch something about the basketball team I’m going to tune into the Mike Anderson show. On the other hand if I had only one channel on my TV and it was showing the Bill Self show I would throw my TV out the window just to be on the safe side. Why? Because I hate everything that has to do with Kansas and it would get me fired up, even if Missouri never entered their mouths, it’s just for the simple fact that Kansas is on my s&*# list and always will be. People feel the same way about politics, liberals are only going to get fired up and upset if they are forced to watch Bill O’Reilly. So just avoid it all together and you don’t have that problem!
But is this a problem with media politics? I honestly don’t think so. People are going to read what they want to read anyways so what’s so wrong with them getting their news from an un objective source? It seems like journalism is slowly moving in the direction of bias perspective, so let’s embrace it. If the news that’s being covered is big story then people will eventually do their own research if they care that much. I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to political coverage I can be pretty lazy. I’ll just end up taking the same opinions and sides as the television personalities, sometimes without even meaning to…but at least I’m taking a side and forming some sort of opinion, right?!
As a student that came to the University of Missouri with hopes of some day becoming a journalist you would think the idea of “objectivity” is something I understand. Well guess what? I’m more confused about this idea now than I was as a tiny freshman. Objectivity to some means playing both sides and to others it simply “presenting the facts” (whatever those are and that means). But the best way to describe Objective Journalism is like Time Editor, Richard Stengel describes it – as a fantasy.
RICHARD STENGEL VIDEO (AUDIO) CLIP
Despite my confusion my opinion is strong on the subject and I do believe that journalist should definitely remain objective when presenting political news. I’ve recently mentioned in another class discussion, thanks to new technologies and engagement opportunities the political audience has changed in the past few years. This change to the audience has not had the opportunity to participate in a large election such as the 2012 Presidential Election but has shown to be one to actively participate every step of the way. This is why objective journalism is important.
This group of people are more versed in technology, have greater influence on the people around them and what I view as most important are young. Presenting anything less than objective (and true) will create a bad experience from the beginning. As stated earlier the level of influence of this audience is a bit more than any we as a people have seen for some time. If a bad experience will stop one from engaging, I wouldn’t doubt at some point it could hinder all from participating.
(OFF THE RECORD – I always wanted to say that – THIS VERY IDEA MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE DECLINE IN POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AMONGST MINORITIES IN PAST YEARS. NO ONE EVER FORGET FIRST IMPRESSIONS)
The American mindset is big business. With big business comes the big dollar. With the big dollar comes the big story. With the big story comes the slanted truth, which we call truth, but is really just a percentage of the truth. If the mindset of our businesses so on and so forth (especially journalism) is to present the true facts objectivity will not be such an issue.
Our idea of objectivity might very well be described as fantasy. The one thing about fantasy though is you WANT to be there and I think that speaks more for the people now more than ever.
This clip is kind of lengthy but has some good stuff ad ideas in it from a couple years back. Check it out!
Susan Jacoby – The Problem of Journalistic Objectivity
When I entered the University of Missouri as a journalism student, I was ready to embrace all the knowledge that the esteemed professors had to offer. I am no longer a journalism student, but what I remember most clearly about my journalism classes is the repetition of the value of objectivity in the profession. I think that until today, I held that as the ideal. After a particularly enlightening cultural psychology class, reading a few articles on the topic (including Cunningham’s “Rethinking Objectivity”) and a little reflection of my own, I’ve decided that objectivity should not be the highest value of the practice of journalism.
There is not a single definition of objectivity. Even if a group of journalists agree on a single definition, they each will practice it differently, perhaps even from day to day.
Objectivity is often articulated as complete detachment or passive reporting of the facts. We have seen, however, that this can actually lead to deception. Sometimes what we think is objective reporting of the facts is actually reporting of what others are simply calling facts. This was the case in reporting surrounding the Bush administration’s decisions to go to war. Many journalists thought they could achieve objectivity by relying on official sources. Official sources, however, formed their own version of the truth.
An article from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill poses many interesting questions about the relationship between public journalism and objectivity. It is based on the simple truth that there is not one way of knowing. Journalism, then should focus more on method first, rather than letting method be directed by the ambiguous end goal of maintaining an “objective” stance.
A recent story on CNN addresses the United States’ encouragement of Jean Bertrand Aristide to remain in South Africa until the upcoming presidential elections are through. It’s tone and it’s quotations from certain sources indicate a stance that supports a hands-off approach from the United States. Even if author of this story or CNN wished to remain “objective” or “neutral” on the issue, the description on twitter frames the story anyway:
The U.S. government is very involved in keeping Aristide out and trying to shepherd in a right-wing gov…
In order for citizens to be informed, relevant context and history surrounding particular issues need to be reported. This requires a degree of subjective direction and selection by reporters. Perhaps if the objectivity was not given such privilege, citizens might be exposed to more viewpoints and forced to engage in political discourse. Otherwise, the fate of citizens is similar to that of journalists striving merely for objectivity-settling. (I’m guilty).
When you first think about this topic you’d like to believe the media and journalists should be objective because it only seems fair. My thought is however that having media that isn’t objective and is biased makes for such good television, news shows, and debates.
I wanted to find something that talked about media objectivity and broke it down into simple terms. Here’s a video I came across that satirically touches on the lack of objectivity in the media and with journalists.
For the most part I think that people already will form their own opinions even if the news that is covered isn’t objective, and when it comes down to it that’s what being objective is all about; putting the facts out there for people to form opinions. Call me new school in the way that I think but I enjoy people putting their opinions out there, it makes for good TV and gets people that are opposed fired up. Who doesn’t love conflict? Isn’t that why we watch Jerry Springer and shows like that? Hopefully that didn’t get confusing but when someone isn’t objective, or is bias, people get so angry and that’s when the claws come out and that when we begin to pay attention.
Let me break this down even further. If I were to write a story about how political figures look terrible in black suites then it would anger the people who think they look god in black suites. In turn, what this would do would give the opposition cause to speak out against my story. What has now happened is that we are going back and forth, which people love, and the story is now becoming popular which almost unconsciously teaches the viewers about the subject at hand!
Obviously it’s incredibly hard to be objective, it’s just human nature to be bias and in some way give your opinion. With that said, let’s just all embrace it and not worry and get all heated when the media isn’t objective! It’s a new wave of media and this is what’s put in front of us so why don’t we just look at all the positive things that it can do for us and go from there. Before I wrote this I was under the impression that journalists and the media should absolutely be objective and then as I read articles and really thought about myself as a reporter I began to realize how hard it would be to not include my opinion in some way. We all have opinions, lets not be a boring society!
Since my debut into the blogosphere, I have been taking a deeper look at the connection between journalists and the stories they produce, especially in the political realm. A previous post of mine on media bias went into detail explaining my viewpoint that no media could be unbias. I carried on to explain that the idea of objectivity seems far from achievable because bias is created simply when journalists are deciding what to and what not to include into their works.
This takes us to today’s topic, “Should journalists and the media be ‘objective’ when presenting political news’? Why or why not?” While I believe that complete objectivity is not a feasible possibility, I also believe that journalists should work towards getting as close to it as possible.
Why? With ‘objectivity‘ the facts, without any other personal input from the journalist, are presented to media consumers. From here these consumers are able to then take that information and process it on their own. They are given the material needed to create their own opinion on a topic.
I believe that this is crucial to sustain the Democratic process. Americans are given the right to vote the way that they want for the things that they believe. However, with the media whispering bias in the ears of their consumers this process is altered, objectivity is ruined, and journalism is shaping the opinions of Americans. This is why objectivity, or at least attempted objectivity is so important. This is why a goal of journalists should be to to reach that objectivity.