"To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible;
to be credible we must be truthful." - Edward R Murrow

Objectivity and Bias: The Future Of Journalism

Objectivity and Bias.

I have a strong belief that when writing a hard news story or a feature story it should be written objectively. That means getting interviews from both sides, secondary research that supports both sides, and not inserting your opinion.

News articles should not address the reader. There should never be an "I" or a "you" or "US" or "WE." Every sentence should be attributed and justified using sources.

At the end of the article the reader should not be able to tell from the article what stance the reporter has on the issue. And I think that is a big deal. I love reading an article and wondering at the end, "Which side does he/she support?"

With hard news stories there shouldn't be a need to insert an opinion. Just report the facts. If you really want your opinion in there then interview someone (a CREDIBLE source) that you know will supply a quote that will say what you wish you could say, but then make sure to get a quote of opposition. You can also do secondary research and cite a source that shows your opinion.

When it's straight hard news it shouldn't be an issue. Let's say there was a car crash, you really don't need to say, "Oh my gosh that driver was SOOoO stupid." No, you don't need to even say an opinion. Just write the who what where when, get quotes if you can from the sources there, interview the police at the scene. If you don't feel like you have enough you can always do a follow up story and elude to that at the end of the article.

If it's a controversial hard news story, say a gay-marriage protest. Interview the protesters, but make sure to interview those that oppose the protest. Interview as many people as you can so you get a variety of quotes and then pick which ones best support the article; this goes for any story written.

Features may make it harder to show your objectivity, but it still should be done. There's more room in Features (800 words or more), and since they are IN-DEPTH stories they take longer than a few days to do. That means you definitely have enough time to get interviews from both sides of the story.

I think that the future of journalism will rely on objectivity within the hard news, and it needs to. I think it is much easier to be objective through print and web reporting, because no one can see your face. Your tone of voice is not heard.

I think that the future of journalism will allow journalists to show opinions within BLOGS. My thoughts on blogging has completely changed since 6 months ago. But I do believe that opinions should be left in blogs, columns, and editorials. I will include reviews in that, but i am a bit iffy.

Now, news sources in the media have gained reputations for being "bias" to the right or left, but even so - that doesn't mean that it's okay to show that within reporting the news.

I am focusing more on print/web journalism within this post, because that is what I am passionate for. I will write more about broadcast journalism later on, because I do have experience with that. I worked at a television station and was in a radio news reporting course. I own the stylebook for broadcast, and the college I attend has a radio station that is listened to throughout the region. (It's an alternative rock station, I love that).

I have finally allowed myself to "let loose" and show some of my opinion. I have strong opinions, but as a journalist I try to hide it and stay objective. As a blogger, I am allowing myself little by little. I will definitely NOT let that slip into my writing.

The future of journalism is going to rely on drawing a line between BLOGS and ARTICLES. Blogs can be personal, blogs don't need to be objective, but there are rules for blogging that coincide with those of a journalist.

I don't know whether to focus on credible sources, credibility, or more so bias.

This one was definitely more about objectivity, but I will go more in-depth to bias later.

I did a 20+ page paper for my English Composition class on the conservative bias of Fox News. I did that paper extremely objectively, but then allowed my opinions to show because the professor asked us to have our opinions in it. I researched my tail off. I WATCHED Fox News, I read transcripts, I read and examined articles, I compared the headlines of Fox News to the headlines of other news sources.

I compared side by side a story written/broadcasted/covered by Fox News vs. the same story covered by another station.

I gained lots of insight.

I really dislike sensationalism.

Now, I am writing for a blog that is on TMZ's blogroll - Zennie62.com.

That website has me focusing on the guilty pleasure celebrity news blogging.

This blog is my serious journalist blog, BUT I will post links and posts I do for that site so that I will be able to show what I wrote for the other blog, but this blog is dedicated and will remain dedicated to the future of journalism.

I am into serious journalism, and I think that I have shown that

But I was given an amazing opportunity to blog and to get a lot more people to read my work, and I think that if people read the "juicy celebrity gossip," then maybe they will go to "nikkyraney.com" to see what else I have written -- and they will see that even though I am a celebrity blogger - I am also a serious journalist.

I want to be able to do both.

And I want to still be thought of as a credible, trustworthy, serious journalist.

My favorite news to cover includes politics, crime, etc. but I am not able to get the interviews at the time, but I can aggregate links to other news sources within the blog posts I write for Zennie62.com. It is a way for me to basically "relax" and not feel as much pressure.

I take Zennie62.com seriously, though.

I try to never be directly critical, and when I do state an opinion I show a link/article that supports my opinion.

So, that's what I have to say about Objectivity and bias for now.

I will be posting my "WORD OF THE WEEK" in a few hours.(I work on each blog entry for at least half an hour, but usually longer).

Oh my favorite moment of the week is trading direct messages back and forth with Steve Tuttle from Newsweek (via Twitter). He read the blog entry I wrote about Newsweek and he liked it.

I am surprised that my twitter got so popular. I love following, but I never expected that I would be followed. My numbers have been going up day by day. I don't ask for followers and I hate the spam "GET MORE FOLLOWERS" crap.

But, here's my twitter.

I post a lot of re-tweeting to news articles.

I post a LOT of news articles.

I post a lot of sarcastic/funny posts.

And I am highly critical of Tila Tequila, but I'll do an entire thing on her later.

I will be doing a blog entry on "CELEBRITY GOSSIP BLOGS" and the good, the bad, and the tila tequila. Don't get me started.

Cheers :)

Thanks for all the support.

To comment, contact, suggest, etc. please e-mail me :)

If you want to be a blogger for Zennie62.com e-mail me!

(p.s. I refuse to link to Fox News, because I am BIAS.)

(p.p.s) John Draper is helping to re-design the layout of my blog. EXCITING.

The mainstream media has its own agenda. They do not want to print the facts. They have an agenda, they have a slant, they have a bias. It is outrageous to me. --Curt Weldon

It is outrageous to me too. I'll fix it, promise. And yes, I did quote a Republican politician.

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