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French Presidential election newspaper coverage reminds us that only U.S. participated in failed “objectivity” experiment 5/6/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in France, News, Objectivity, President, Sarkozy.

For decades, most Americans have assumed that “objectivity” is the gold standard in news coverage, given that’s what our journalists told us. But in fact, objectivity was a unique American invention that the rest of the world by and large chose not to emulate (the exceptions have mostly been news media controlled through ownership or regulation by governments that prefer that their citizens receive a single, government-friendly view presented as the truth, e.g. Pravda, BBC, Xinhua). Reminding us of America’s isolation on the objectivity issue is this article on French newspapers’ reaction to conservative Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy’s victory. Self-identified conservative papers like Le Figaro and Les Echos celebrated it on their front pages, while leftist papers like Liberation and L’Humanite mourned. It’s now been more than 80 years since U.S. journalism introduced the goal of objectivity. Yet today, 83% of U.S. likely voters still do not believe they are getting it, while cable TV news and talk radio successes suggest they do not even want it. Soon the U.S. will rejoin the international community of the free world, and most news consumers will be selecting news that is compatible with their personal worldviews.


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