Aside

Issues in Journalism – Objectivity in Journalism

Objectivity, information without bias, is considered the apex of authority in media. However with individuals hesitant to pay to be informed, it can be assumed that information that fits an opinion or predisposition to a particular audience is what will be tolerated.

In a TIME article published as ‘The ADHD Fallacy: It’s Time To Stop Treating Childhood as a Disease‘, child and family therapist Marilyn Wedge gives an account of the experience she had when a young family approached her for advice in rearing their ADHD-stricken child.

Marilyn Wedge is author to the book 'A Disease Called Childhood'

Marilyn Wedge is author to the book ‘A Disease Called Childhood’

While the article was very pro-homoeopathy, there were portions of it that led myself to believe that it wasn’t all that subjective. Specifically “[I] was asked if I thought if Adderall would help Aiden…I told them it probably would” made me reconsider that she was essentially being pro-alternative medicine rather than refusing to believe that ADHD was a legitimate issue.

While the article isn’t entirely subjective, the way in which she articulated her stance led much to be desired. Which begs the question of whether (if we can’t possibly be impartial and without bias), does objectivity truly have a place in journalism?

To vaguely answer this question, an audience of some denomination has to consider what is important to them. What is important subjectively and whether this subjective information is of value to them.

When an event is objectively important, is it in good faith to convey information as impartial as possible? Yes! But is this seen as important or evident in publications nowadays?  Even in important events such as the Sydney Siege there was little shortage of scaremongering straight from one of Australia’s largest publications.

The Daily Telegraph's 2PM Special Edition

The Daily Telegraph’s 2PM Special Edition

 

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