Varieties of Journalistic Objectivity

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Debangali Dutta


Journalistic media plays an important role in society especially a democratic one. The public cannot reach out and acquire knowledge about each and everything that may bear upon their executing their democratic rights. Journalistic media bridges this epistemic gap. Journalistic media, often called the fourth pillar of democracy, also performs a “checking function” on the other three pillars namely executive, judiciary and legislature. The understanding of journalistic media's role in society can be refined further with the addition of, or resolution of already stated goals into, further goals. Yet, it should be clear that all of these roles ultimately depend on journalistic media playing the epistemic role of bridging the epistemic gap between the public and facts. Playing this epistemic role properly requires objectivity which, in simple terms, may be understood as consisting in allowing the facts to be conveyed to the public as is, without any modifications or colouring so to speak. But, this simplistic and readily accessible definition of objectivity papers over many differences between distinct kinds of objectivity. Given the significance of the notion for journalism it is required that we understand exactly what objectivity is, whether and what its different varieties are, and how they figure in journalistic practice. In this paper I will discuss three varieties of objectivity and how they pertain to journalism's ability to fulfil its role in democracy

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Dutta, D. . (2023). Varieties of Journalistic Objectivity. International Journal of Applied Ethics, 9(2321-2497).