Objectivity is based on the assumption that a series of ‘facts



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Lay AC - OvA

Lay AC

NOTES


Especially you Wesley, read this case slow, persuasion is key with this aff, make it look like objectivity can be advocacy. Performing this case persuasively is the best way to make people think objectivity isn’t just some Ben Shapiro nonsense.
Framework:
The framework relies on the concept that knowledge is power and if you are uninformed you can’t be a part of an effective democracy.

AC

Overview/Framework

I affirm that in a democracy, a free press ought to prioritize objectivity over advocacy.

I present some definitions:


McLaughlin 16 [Greg McLaughlin, senior lecturer in media and journalism at the University of Ulster, 2016, “Journalism, Objectivity and War,” The War Correspondent, https://sci-hub.se/https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt19qgf0x.7]/Kankee
objectivity under fire Objectivity in journalism has come under serious critique from academics (Glasgow University Media Group, 1976; Lichtenberg, 1996; Streckfuss, 1990; Parenti, 1993). They suggest in various ways that the news media do not simply report and reflect our social world but that they more or less play an active part in shaping, even constructing it; that they represent sectional interests rather than society as a whole.2 When these criticisms are leveled at journalists, their traditional defence is their practice of objectivity but what does it mean to be objective in journalism in the first place? According to Michael Schudson (1978), objectivity is based on the assumption that a series of ‘facts’ or truth claims about the world can be validated by the rules and procedures of a professional community. The distortions and biases[–], the subjective value judgements of the individual[-] or of particular interest groups, are filtered out so that among journalists at any rate, ‘The belief in objectivity is a faith in facts”, a distrust of “values”, and a commitment to their segregation’ (p. 6). Gaye Tuchman refers to this method as ‘a strategic ritual’, a method of newsgathering and reporting that protects the journalist from charges of bias or libel (1972, p. 661ff). Radical critiques measure journalistic claims to objectivity against analyses of how the news media produce and represent their version of reality according to sectional interests. Bias is not in the eye of the beholder but is structured within the entire news process; the news filters and constructs reality according to a dominant or institutional ideology (Glasgow University Media Group, 1976). ‘What passes for objectivity’, for American scholar Michael Parenti, ‘is the acceptance of a social reality shaped by the dominant forces of society – without any critical examination of that reality’s hidden agendas, its class interests, and its ideological biases’ (1993, p. 52). It is the difference respectively between the journalist as the professional, instutionalised reporter and the journalist as the partial eyewitness and writer. John Pilger points to the transparency of this ideology of professionalism, especially in a public service broadcaster like the BBC whose coverage of domestic and foreign crises has demonstrated its true agenda and its true allegiances: These people waffle on about objectivity as if by joining that institution or any institution they suddenly rise to this Nirvana where they can consider all points of view and produce something in five minutes. It’s nonsense and it’s made into nonsense because the moment there’s any kind of pressure on the establishment you find reporters coming clean, as they did after the Falklands. They were very truculent: ‘These were our people, our side. And now we’ll get back to being objective’. It’s the same with the term ‘balance’. I mean censorship for me always works by omission. That’s the most virulent censorship and what we have is an enormous imbalance one way, ...the accredited point of view, the sort of consensus point of view which has nothing to do with objectivity, nothing to do with impartiality and very little to do with the truth.3 The pressure to pursue objectivity in reporting has had serious consequences for journalism as a form of factual writing. James Cameron thought that ‘objectivity in some circumstances is both meaningless and impossible.’ He could not see ‘how a reporter attempting to define a situation involving some sort of ethical conflict can do it with sufficient demonstrable neutrality to fulfil some arbitrary concept of “objectivity”.’ This was not the acid test for Cameron who ‘always tended to argue that objectivity was of less importance than the truth, and that the reporter whose technique was informed by no opinion lacked a very serious dimension’ (1967, p. 72). There are, however, alternative forms of journalism that subvert the very notion of objectivity: the ‘New Journalism’ of the 1960s and what has been called ‘honest journalism’, described as a compromise between the blind assumption of impartiality and ideological commitment. War and alternative journalisms


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