Objectivity in journalism is a key topic for debate in media, communication and journalism studies, and has been the subject of intensive historical and sociological research. In the first study of its kind, Steven Maras surveys the different viewpoints and perspectives on objectivity. Going beyond a denunciation or defence of journalistic objectivity, Maras critically examines the different scholarly and professional arguments made in the area. Structured around key questions, the book considers the origins and history of objectivity, its philosophical influences, the main objections and defences, and questions of values, politics and ethics. This book examines debates around objectivity as a transnational norm, focusing on the emergence of objectivity in the US, while broadening out discussion to include developments around objectivity in the UK, Australia, Asia and other regions.
Steven Maras is senior lecturer in media and communications at the University of Sydney, Australia.
Chapter One: Why and when did journalistic objectivity arise?
Chapter Two: What are the main objections to journalistic objectivity?
Chapter Three: Why is there so much dispute over ‘the facts’?
Chapter Four: What are the grounds on which journalistic objectivity has been defended?
Chapter Five: Is objectivity a passive or active process?
Chapter Six: Can objectivity coexist with political or ethical commitment?
Chapter Seven: Is objectivity changing in an era of 24/7 news and on-line journalism?
Chapter Eight: Is objectivity a universal journalistic norm?