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Jan 28, 2005


Shel Holtz

I suppose it all depends on the definition of "objectivity," doesn't it? According to the school of media ethics, objectivity "means standing so far from the community that you see all events and all viewpoints as equally distant and important, or unimportant for that matter. It is employed by giving equal weight to all viewpoints--or, if not, giving all an interesting twist, within taste. The result is a presentation of facts in a true non-partisan manner, and then standing back to let the reader decide which view is true. By going about it this way, we are defining objectivity not by the way we go about gathering and interpreting the news, but by what we actually put in the paper."

Journalists do, indeed, strive for this definition of objectivity -- at least, the good ones do. The goal of objectivity, in any case, certainly isn't restricted to one group or another. Anybody who finds value in it can seek it.

Evelyn Rodriguez

I didn't mention I started out in the School of Communications seeking a journalism degree before I switched to computer science (and later electrical engineering). I actually quite like the standard definition of objectivity too - I think looking at things from different perspectives and seeing all sides of an issue or viewpoint and presenting these to the reader and letting them make up their own mind are incredibly valuable skills. It's still on my wishlist to write a ChangeThis manifesto titled "Changing Our Own Minds, Thank You."

I wish more people wrote objectively as possible on blogs. Yet many people mistake objectivity with emotional distance and deathly, leaden writing.

I'm going even a level deeper here - it's tempting to project unto others in the psychological sense in every moment of our lives. We do it all the time without fully realizing it. Dropping all our projections literally is the definition of enlightenment.


I really liked this article on "objectivity isn't depersonalization". It is so true.

We can gain so much insights if we would frequently pause and drop all projections. Or in another way, we could just train ourselves to be conscious of every projection we experience. Being aware of one's own projections is a very valuable quality.

But instead of seeing everything detached and unemotionally it seems important to combine the personal viewpoint and the objective viewpoint. Maybe enlightenment isn't just being objective, but perhaps it is integrating objectivity with one's own personal experiences and emotions.

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