Objectivity: A Tool for Exemplary Reportage

The job of newsmen is deemed to a lot of pressure. As credible journalists, they are expected to disseminate factual stories — the truth and nothing but the truth. This is where the demand for accuracy in facts and details comes in. Some of the aspects that add pressure to the responsibilities of newsmen are the strict and constricted deadlines set by the editors, the possibility of libel suits and the criticisms from the audience and from the editors.

According to Gaye Tuchman’s journal titled “Objectivity as Strategic Ritual: An Examination of Newsmen’s Notion of Objectivity”, Objectivity is the key for newsmen to be able to cope with pressure. With objectivity, trouble can be minimized, deadlines will be met on time and libel suits will be prevented from being filed.

What it means to be objective is being unprejudiced, impartial the news angles chosen and unbiased with opinions. Being objective means that a news writer or reporter is able to write news stories without the influence of personal opinions and biases. It is possible for a newspaperman to write with purely objective facts and come up with a purely objective news article. However, doing so would be really difficult considering that the outside pressures are string and everyone has their own biases over a certain topic.

The following are ways that Tuchman suggested four strategic procedures for a newspaperman to claim objectivity over his work.

The first one is the presentation of conflicting possibilities. This is where verification of facts come in. the facts used in the stories must be verifiable and must come from reliable sources. Newsmen are expected to be outstanding researchers and provide the most accurate of facts. The second is the presentation of supporting evidences. To be able to prove that what one has written is truthful and veritable, supporting evidences are needed. Citing additional facts that would strengthen the newsman’s claim is a must. The third one is the judicious use of quotation marks. From example, when writing speech news, there are times when newsmen might misinterpret the message of the speakers wrongly. Using direct quotations solves this dilemma. The last one is the structuring of information in an appropriate sequence. The facts resemble an inverted pyramid wherein the most important ors go in the first paragraph.

It is important for newspapermen to be objective in writing news stories because the public reads newspapers and these newspapers are integral sources of information. Through these news stories, the public’s views are strongly influenced as well as there opinions are shaped. Objectivity means avoidance of future problems like libel suits. Libel suits slow down news processes for it affects the writers, the editors, the entire newspaper and then the audience, who will not be receiving properly written news stories once the newspaper’s general processes are affected by the libel case. Journalists should have one goal and one goal only — write to be able to serve. To do this, one must be unbiased.

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