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Journalism either ought to explain how 3-anchor foreign Obama coverage can be balanced, or admit objectivity is an illusion 7/19/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in Objectivity.

So, all three network anchors are tagging along on Obama’s overseas trip. Obviously, this is unprecedented. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer notes that when McCain visited Iraq, the media was so caught-up in the Democratic Primary that they virtually ignored it. They continue, “For them to follow him across the ocean on his get-acquainted tour is a bit too fawning. It’s a pure violation of the rapidly disappearing rule that the media is at least supposed to try to appear fair and balanced.”

There is no denying that this world tour is bound to be interesting for viewers and the networks are making sound business decisions by covering it. But there is also no denying that it’s impossible to square this coverage with “objectivity.” Do they intend to provide McCain with equivalent positive coverage? If so, by covering what equivalent events? It seems obvious that they have no intention of doing so, and even if they did it is hard to quantify what an equivalent event would be. Is there anyone out there who is willing to stand-up for the principle of objectivity during this time when media credibility is on the line? Let’s either hear the voices of journalists who will tell us that, no, in fact this can be balanced and here’s how — or let’s move to a more honest period in which we admit that objectivity has never been the commitment that it has been claimed to be.


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