A rare good column on objectivity in journalism.

An opinion piece may be an odd place to find it, but The Squamish Chief has it here. 560x292

The notions are definitely old school, but correct: that punditry and commentators polluted journalism and then the lines were so blurred that opinion took over entirely.

But I would go further than that -- objectivity in journalism is not the same as scientific objectivity in that it has never been empirically defined -- so we don't actually know very much about objective reporting.

The other problem is that journalism is more about stories and narratives than actual facts. When you spin narratives and then try to stick in facts to make it news, you cannot have empirically objective reporting. You shouldn't be taking sides because you don't attach facts to narrative, that, by its very essence, takes sides.

And if you use a patriarchal structure to tell stories, you are forcing readings to take you as they unerring reliable narrator.

Journalism is not about taking sides, giving gooey press coverage to certain people and groups. Just the facts. What's going on? If you have usable facts, no one is going to get on you for being positive or negative with a story.

You can have facts that are important to various groups. You do not have to farm all over people to be relevant to them. Journalism is not the place for giving paper crowns or creating Great Men narratives. It is not about giving people a voice or lollipops. With social media, people can get their own voice out with ease.

But what they need are the facts to make sure the voice that carries knows what it is talking about.