Journalistic Duty


Reporter April O'neil (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

By Phil Genco

Is objective news possible in the real world?

Journalists have a set of rules that requires them to tackle a story from an unbiased perspective. They have to tell the audience (readers, viewers or listeners) what happened and convince their audience why they should care about it without using their own emotions or opinions.

Yes, this is a possible. Writers can be objective when they cover stories. They use quotes to relay emotion to the audience, while providing facts as evidence to support a stance on an issue.

The problem that I have goes deeper than this.

The news media is a business. News outlets have owners who are trying to make profit just like any other kind of business. My point is that journalists, voices on radio shows and talking heads on TV can be objective in the way they report the news, but someone has control over what they are talking about and what they are allowed to say.

The companies that own these media outlets are huge. For example, the Washington Post Company has interest in magazine and newspaper publishing as well as television broadcasting. Huge conglomerates like Viacom have ownership of many different media outlets like magazines, movie production and television channels.

These companies control what we see, hear and read.

 My fear is that these conglomerates have control of the public opinion because they can influence them from so many different angles. The way that they span their ownership across different channels gives them the power to send the same message at people through TV, publication or radio. They are in it to make money and sway the public opinion in their financial favor.

This is the reason why it is so important for journalists to stay honest and follow the rules of unbiased reporting. Journalists have the responsibility to keep the public well informed with the objective truth. A suit making millions of dollars is going to worry about what is going to put cash in his pockets and be beneficial for the company. A journalist, on the other hand, has to worry about what is right and that they have to serve the public.

It is the journalists duty to make objective news a possibility.


One response to “Journalistic Duty

  1. Content: 4 Good topic. Tough questions. Although, the mantra of mainstream news organizations is that advertisers and owners’ politics and business interests have no influence on news. That is not the case with Fox, where Rupert Murdoch has a heavy hand in influencing content. Will bias appear more in the news of the future? Let’s talk about it in class.

    Links: 2 Why did you put a link on Viacom and not Wash Post or others? It’s confusing to the reader. Not sure what to expect there.
    Grammar: 3 watch ‘s journalist’s Also something is weird in graph 3. Did you mean impossible?

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