Monday, November 6, 2017

The Power of Objectivity

Reece Patton


Today's journalism is a continuous process just as life around us. The past has shown us what we have done wrong and how we should adjust those flaws, but it also encourages us to keep improving on the aspects that we do well. Modern journalism faces more obstacles than ever before. Technology has become a tool for reviewing sources and history to generate the most accurate results possible. Unfortunately, it has also created a more difficult environment for the journalists who abide by all ethics and codes available.

The debate of "Modern Journalism" has mixed perspectives between those who believe in writing partisan or non-partisan stories. In one of the articles, stenography is mentioned as the journalism style that offers facts and only facts. This is a structure that is appealing in a compact information setting but there is a lack of personal touch. Who are the journalists and what do they really think and feel about the stories that they are writing? In the current political climate, many people have strong opinions to what leaders are saying and who they are criticizing.

There is an article about a Trump rally where the president said the media were dishonest and bad people. As we know, there are people that are dishonest and bad but as a journalism student myself, I realize the honor of being ethical and just for the public's best interest. This comment by the president didn't sit well with an experienced journalist and there were words exchanged over social media. The issue, is, should the journalist have made an opinionated comment to the president on the public forum? Some companies are now saying "NO."

Companies are cracking down hard with their employees using social media. Although, social media is a personal platform, the employees using it are still representatives for their company. Some businesses have pushed away people who are applying for jobs because of their misuse on social media for their strong personal political views. Journalists must be responsible in these instances because they are journalists inside and outside of work. There are ethical codes that teach a journalist to go about specific encounters in the field and in personal life, they hold the same responsibilities.

There is a great responsibility as a journalist because you are a public figure and you are a large provider to the readers of your stories. When making personal comments, news morphs. Although, readers will get to know more about the journalist, they will have less of a chance to interpret the news for themselves. Things will get difficult while reporting when journalists cover public figures who announce information in a manner that is not fact-checked. With the internet, information is available in seconds, and falsehoods or misstatements can be identified.

There have been major advancements in fact checking through the past few months. This has not only been an American interest but a worldwide focus. The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) has been working to debunk false claims about important information. There is now such great focus on reporting the facts, yet people are still saying that journalism needs to be more personal. There is a deep-rooted conflict in how journalists should be balanced but still show personality. In the new world of modern journalism, this is a fair problem to have and time will tell how and who will lead the way in journalism for the future.

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