A Reality Check: How Journalists’ Role Perceptions Impact Their Implementation of the Objectivity Norm

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Abstract

Objectivity is a cornerstone in the journalistic profession. There is a widespread acknowledgement that a one-to-one representation of reality is not possible, and thus the norm must be interpreted by journalists in their daily work. Based on a journalist survey among Danish journalists (N = 2008) we find that journalists' role perceptions have substantial explanatory power in regard to how journalists implement the objectivity norm. The objectivity norm pervades the news production process by guiding journalists when they select, gather, and present the news, and the results give a hint about how journalistic role perceptions might affect the production process through the objectivity norm and subsequently also the news content.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism - Theory Practice and Criticism
Volume14
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)22-42
ISSN1464-8849
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • journalism
  • journalists
  • objectivity
  • professionalism
  • public service
  • role perceptions

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