Objective Nonsense (part 9)

The next installment in our virtual debate about “objectivity” in journalism features…

Chris Johns, Editor of National Geographic magazine, on the objectivity of NGM’s stories:

Chris Johns

[Photographer Stephanie Sinclair] has no agenda. She does not judge. … She photographs what she sees and provides the opportunity for insight. The rest is up to the reader.

In a world full of shrill voices and agendas, we at National Geographic are committed to an unbiased presentation of facts. … It’s what we’ve been doing for more than 120 years.
(We first posted this excerpt here.)

Jeff Jarvis

Jeff Jarvis is the author of What Would Google Do? (HarperCollins 2009). He also blogs about media and news at BuzzMachine, and is associate professor and director of the interactive journalism program at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. In a post titled Objectivity/impartiality = cowardice, boredom, obsolescence, Jarvis writes:

Acting as if there were no agenda in journalism is itself a deception. Why does an editor decide to pursue and publicize a story about, say, public corruption? Because he thinks corruption is bad — otherwise, it wouldn’t be a story — and he wants to do something about it. He has an agenda. Of course, he has. To act as if he doesn’t is a lie of omission.

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