Are objectivity and passion in the newsroom compatible?

Bella Teerlink, Y2

From young high school students to network anchors, journalists strive for objectivity. On June 27, I was granted the opportunity to attend a panel at the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) conference in San Francisco titled “Investigating Amid Political Upheaval in Ukraine.”

Though the tale told by two journalists involved in the YanukovychLeaks was fascinating, the question-and-answer session was encomium after encomium, with few journalistic questions asked. This made me wonder how agenda based, investigative reporting fits into the ethics of journalism.

For journalists, there’s no acceptable time to turn off critical thinking, but especially not at the IRE. It’s vital to remember that, regardless the story, journalists must balance out the facts and perspectives.

Though I deeply admire Denys Bigus and Oleysa Ivanova, the Ukranian journalists who spoke at the event, they are viewing the situation with an emotional attachment, not bringing up the violent activists or other information that greatly influences the story.

It’s essential to realize that even we’re greatly affected by the situation at hand, journalism will cease to function if it isn’t objective. Appreciating good journalism is an essential part of working with other journalists, and Bigus and Ivanova definitely qualify into this category. But by ignoring the total lack of objectivity, we lose some standing as journalists.

And after all, without credibility, how can we report?

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