The biggest accustation that continues to plague journalism is biased news coverage.
News consumers clamor for neutral reporting without biased interference. However, this is much easier said than done. Both readers and journalists have inherent biases and opinions.
As a result, it’s nearly impossible to remain neutral when covering a story. Yet, journalism professors continue to preach the value of “objectivity.”
The problem readers fail to recognize is that news itself is hardly objective. Let’s look at the recent Boston bombing attacks for example. In order to objectively cover the story, reporters are not aloud to show any favoritism or choose a side.
However, it’s impossible not to let emotions get in the way. As American citizens themselves, journalists are devastated by the attacks and feel the need to victimize those responsible. Instead of taking the angle that the terrorists were innocent until proven guilty, journalists sympathized with America and their stories clearly reflected whose side they were on.
It may sound like an extreme example, but it clearly shows how difficult it can be to leave emotions and opinions out a story.
Regardless, objectivity is still a standard that journalists should strive for. This is especially true in political reporting– with many news organizations aligning their coverage with a particular political party.
While at times it may seem impossible, journalists should continue to stick to the facts and let audiences determine their own interpretation of a story.