Objectivity is the backbone of modern journalism. It is the idea that as reporters it is your duty to present the facts – and only the facts – to your readers, and have them form their own opinions about the story.
The idea of objectivity was first introduced in the early 20th century by Walter Lippman, a writer, reporter and political commentator. After the age of yellow journalism, in which exaggeration and sensationalism was used to sell papers, Lippman and Charles Merz, an associate editor for the New York World, wrote an account of how “cultural blinders had distorted the New York Times coverage of the Russian Revolution,” according to the American Press Institute.
Not long after, Lippman declared that journalism was being practiced by “untrained accidental witnesses” and that partisan values were glaring through their writing. Lippman’s solution was that journalists start applying the scientific method in practicing their profession, and that they also start relying on facts to inform their readers.
In an age of extreme political partisanship and atrocities across the globe, it’s no secret that objectivity is hard to practice at times. Ultimately, that is the goal of every paper across the United States, and it is the goal of The Setonian.
When The Setonian covers topics, particularly ones of a political and social nature, we aim to do so objectively. We aim to talk to all parties involved in a particular situation and we give a balanced account of these situations. It is not The Setonian’s job to be a platform for your political agendas. We will not endorse any ideas over others, and we will not portray one side in a better light than the other, because that is not journalism, it is propaganda.
Furthermore, if a Setonian reporter reaches out to sources, and the sources choose to ignore their multiple requests for comment and not respond, it is not The Setonian’s fault if a story has less sources on one side of an issue. You cannot simultaneously complain about us being biased and refuse to talk to us. That’s not how it works.
The Voice is intended to best represent the collective opinion of The Editorial Board. It is written by The Setonian’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor.