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The history of objectivity in journalism

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Jason Wilson

on 15 February 2012

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Transcript of The history of objectivity in journalism

Objectivity? Have you ever been concerned about media bias? Why is it important that the media are objective? If newspapers are around ~500 years old, the idea that journalists should be objective is less than 100 years old. revolutionary journalism New York City, Mid- c19th Alexis de Tocqueville The New York Tribune
Started by Horace Greeley
Pro "whig"
Women's rights Emporia, Kansas Townsville - "The Democrat" Newspaper row, NYC, 1890s. The progressive party, the progressive era - an anti-party movement A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
Social insurance, to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled.
Limited injunctions in strikes.
Farm relief.
Workers' compensation for work-related injuries.
An inheritance tax.
A Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax.
Women's suffrage.
Direct election of Senators.
Primary elections for state and federal nominations.:
The recall election (citizens may remove an elected official before the end of his term).
The referendum (citizens may decide on a law by popular vote).
The initiative (citizens may propose a law by petition and enact it by popular vote).
Judicial recall (when a court declares a law unconstitutional, the citizens may override that ruling by popular vote). "Premodern journalism" (to 1890)
Partisan (and often connected to parties.
Aligned with, and often paid for by political organisations
High readerships from increasingly urbanised, industrial society The rise of objectivity is an American story
It involves
The rise of a mass audience
The self-conscious professionalisation of journalism
The rise of the Progressive political movement C19th American democracy was run by and for the party machines
Instructed/bribed voters, who publicly cast their ballots
Rewarded supporters with gov't jobs
Newspapers "subdivisions of political parties". The beginnings of "modern journalism" (1890-1970)
Newspapers become "big business"
Local publics give way to a national media system
The Progressive movement Reform-minded journalism
Broke away from party system
Created a form of writing that was non-partisan, neutral, fair, scientific, indepednent, objective
Had a growing coherence and professional pride New techniques of fact-based reporting
The beat system
Interviews Further self-consciousness and professionalization with the rise of PR in teens and 20s. Influenced journalism in english-speaking countries.
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