Jay Rosen – a reasonably well-known professor of journalism once said he wished reporters would be honest with audiences about their opinions, and then state the facts that support their point of view.
I think this sort of approach is desperately needed in today’s news media. Reporters, pretending to be objective, only mislead audiences who trust them to have no bias towards the facts. There’s this tremendous culture that everything these days needs to be objective. But why? What purpose does it serve (especially knowing that it’s pretty much impossible)? How much more well-equipped would audiences be if they were told up-front that the reporter shared a different view than their own? Sure, they might not trust that reporter, but who cares? Now they’ll go and check the facts for themselves, rather than just blindly believe everything that’s been fed to them.
We’re of the mindset that a lack of objectivity is somehow damaging to us, but rather, all it really does it make us believe that we’re well-informed, when we’re really just throwing baseless opinions around the same as any ignoramus. We rarely check facts, because we blindly believe the “unbiased” news sources will do proper research rather than spout their opinion. It’d be better if we didn’t trust the news. It’d be better because we wouldn’t want to blindly believe. We would set out ourselves with a spirit of inquiry and truth-seeking. And isn’t that more valuable than a false sense of objectivity?