The press will need a return to objectivity in political reporting, for it to reclaim the goodwill of the past, and for journalism and journalists to be esteemed again, investigations in New York have revealed. Although the lack of objectivity is said to be common in political reporting, some members of the public see the development as having impact on public’s entire view and journalism’s image. They say, a profession hitherto respected for telling the truth, has embraced a mode of following political and ideological beliefs of proprietors and politicians, in rejection of objectivity.
“Some of the papers and television houses present news slanted to favor either the Democratic or the Republican Party. Each of them continues the protection and defense of the interests of the government if it is the party they favor that is in the White House, and whichever party that controls the Congress will have papers and television houses that favor it at its beck and call,” Patrick Richardson said.
Democratic Party is seen as highly supported by news organization that are ideologically liberal, while the Republican Party is viewed as having the support of news organizations that are ideologically conservative. The schism in the media is no longer hidden, some observers affirm, citing television networks and newspapers that openly accuse one another of bias. They cite two examples of television networks that each has a permanent column, which call public’s attention to news presentations they tag as bias, whenever such news don’t favor their political or ideological leaning.
Evans, a student of a regency school in Manhattan said because of the way political news are slanted, he doesn’t read political news again. He prefers opening the pages to the sports pages. The same he does with television viewing by seeking programs, where there are no political views or opinions presented as news. He says he has resorted to online searching for objective information, believing some online news are presented by journalists who are’t controlled by any proprietor. Most journalists, he says, work in large media organizations with fat pay and benefits and are ready to dance to the dictum, ‘he who pays the piper dictates the tune.’
Baldwin Scotland, a former police commissioner in Guyana, living in New York agrees that the press no longer cares about objectivity. He says each news organization promotes its own political or ideological beliefs and that they have become referees that choose the winner and loser in a debate in effort to push their own candidate as the winner. Baldwin’s view, allies with a question by a participant who expresses frustration with what she describes as bias in the press, during a post debate conference at Adams Play-House in Hofstra University.
Professor Susan Drucker responds that objectivity is still there in the press with many newspapers, magazines, radios, televisions and the internet. Meaning that the public has many sources to seek and vet information to obtain the truth. In essence, Professor Drucker’s assertion agrees with those who say democracy cannot be operated with one way traffic of information, and that the current multi-faceted sources of information enhances dialogue, debate democracy.
As taught in schools, objectivity is the cornerstone of journalism as a profession.