Commentary: ‘The Truth’ vs. Objectivity in American Journalism Today

Lately, the local ABC News affiliate in Washington, D.C., has been running promotional spots with the well-worn tagline “speaking truth to power.” That is an odd slogan for a media outlet that can certainly be counted among the powerful in the region. It also raises a question as to whether this local news department has truly discovered “the truth” and is devoting its broadcasts to sharing it with its viewers.  

At least implicit in the use of the slogan is a recognition by the station that truth does indeed exist. Sadly, many in American journalism are increasingly denying the existence of objective truth and calling for an end of objectivity in journalism. As Stanford University communications professor emeritus Ted Glasser said recently, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”  In other words, the task of a journalist is to push the progressive narrative forward, truth and objectivity be damned. 

Glasser isn’t alone. Recently, in a speech at Washington State University, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt also questioned the value of objectivity. “I think it’s become clearer that fairness is overrated,” he said. “The idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in.”  

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Former Tennessean Editor Clint Brewer Discusses Facebook Giving Grants to News Organizations

Former journalist and current public affairs strategist Clint Brewer joined The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Friday morning on the newsmakers line.

During the second hour, Brewer weighed in on Facebook’s recent grants to local and national organizations which ironically were all left-leaning. He questioned why any self-respecting news outlet would want to take a grant when they should be figuring out ways to increase their business on their own adding that this would prevent them from reporting on Facebook objectively.

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