The public has lost faith in legacy media objectivity


The idea, which has long been central to journalism, that reporters must be viewed objectively in order to do their job is under siege. And it’s losing.

The Social Justice Warriors verbal trebuchet kicked Barry Weiss out of The New York Times. After Rex Murphy’s column questioning institutional racism was published, staff at the National Post rebelled.The Washington Post fought reporters over his media activism. National Public Radio news staff won the right to participate in the demonstration. Wendy Mesley loudly mentions the title of her book on her CBC, and her 40-year career falls apart.

And now even the Globe and Mail walls have been broken.

As Globe’s public editor Sylvia Stead wrote to her June 25 column“Expecting objectivity from individual journalists is not the right measure,” she noted, adding, “I am a member of The Globe’s board of editors and reporters and have reviewed and recommended changes to our editorial code of conduct.” did.”

“Principles rarely change, but this time the reference to ‘objectivity’ has been changed to ‘fairness and transparency,’” she wrote.

And with a stroke of the pen, it disappeared.

This is in line with, and perhaps part of, a wider trend of elites and institutions increasingly doing what they love regardless of public opinion. occurred while taking a similar Dernière mode approach to

Namely, what the Supreme Court of Canada and the Chief Justice said about the Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa this winter. “What we saw… was the beginning of anarchy, when some people decided to take other citizens hostage and take the law into their own hands,” said Richard Wagner, Minister of the Right. publicly concluded At Le Devoir in Montreal.

A complaint was filed but was dismissed by the Canadian Judiciary Council chaired by Wagner. This is in spite of its own principle, which states that “in and out of court, judges should avoid words and actions that are likely to give rise to a reasonable perception of prejudice.”

Bruce Purdy, a law professor at Queen’s University, was one of the lawyers who complained about Wagner. He also has a theory as to why the Chief Justice fails to recognize the issue.

refer jurisprudence Wanjiru Njoya of the Journal of Free Black Thought suggests Pardy: … through a progressive lens, in other words, impartiality means being open to all rational perspectives, but only progressive perspectives are rational. ”

Perhaps, but no longer knowing who to believe, the public chose not to believe anyone. The government is not far behind (58%),” said 2022. Canadian Trust Barometer Edelman is an international telecommunications company that annually researches and reports on public trust around the world.

Edelman found that the level of distrust of reporters was up 12 percentage points year-over-year.

W.hats that the public still wants Accuracy and objectivity are of utmost importance to reporters. According to the American Press Institute, 87% want the media to “verify and get the facts right,” 78% want them to be “fair on all fronts,” and 68% want them to “get it right.” 61% want it. “Providing diverse perspectives”.

Consumers of news do not expect reporters to lose their personal convictions. No matter how much journalists seem to forget that the concept of objectivity is not meant to claim or pretend that individual journalists are unbiased, they will be able to tell their story. I just don’t want to hear or distort the news. It was developed and imposed in recognition of the fact that they are inevitably annoyed by them.

It is a 42-page study by Walter Lippman and Charles Mertz, entitled news test Published in the New Republic in 1920, it formed the basis for promoting objectivity.

A study by Lippmann and Mertz, examining the New York Times’ coverage of the Russian Revolution, concluded that it was often “dictated by the wishes of the people who made up the press” rather than being based on fact.

“The chief censors and the chief propaganda were the hopes and fears of the hearts of reporters and editors,” they concluded. And so began the quest for a discipline that would curb the all-too-human traits of prejudice and depravity.

The main reason the traditional news media are under siege is that the public has lost confidence in their ability to be adept at the objective practice of their technology, and they have put their own crusade ahead of the public good. This is because they consider themselves to be. They are declining because many of their names are better known than their work. They are under attack more and more because they forget that they are not. it’s about us.

A longer version of this explanation is

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.

peter menzies


Peter Menzies is a Senior Research Fellow at the Macdonald Laurier Institute, an award-winning journalist, and former Vice-Chairman of the CRTC.