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ENG 102 - Wilson: CQ Researcher

Use these links to learn about movies and find film critiques and reviews.

CQ Researcher

The CQ Researcher database can be found at the library Databases and Journals page along with the other databases you will use for this research paper.

Home access to the library databases is your MyTMCC/Canvas login and password.

CQ Researcher will provide you with articles addressing the Who, What, Where, Why, Pro/Con, Statistics, Primary Source, Leading Field Authorities and MLA citation for a majority of current and controversial issues facing America and the World today. At the bottom of the featured article are hyperlinks to articles used or referenced by the author. Thus, one stop research targeting the specifics of your film analysis.

This database also provides an Issue Tracker, located at the right side of the screen, that presents related issues to the article you are reading. 

When I perform a search for MEDIA, the central focus of the film Network, I retrieve the following articles:

Trust in Media

Conspiracy Theories

Media Bias

Free Speech at Risk

Press Freedom

Each of these articles are attributed the same formatting and are stock full of vital statistical data and quotes by leading figures in their field of expertise or governing. 

 

 

Pro/Con

Should journalists try to be objective?

Pro

Thomas Kent
President and CEO, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Former Standards Editor, The Associated Press. Written for CQ Researcher, June 2017

Not every journalist needs to be objective. But if sources of objective journalism disappear, society will suffer a tragic loss.

Some claim it's impossible for journalists to be objective; no one, they say, can report the news without a shade of personal opinion.

This might be true if a journalist's job were simply to provide one version of reality. That would open the way for journalists to impose their views on others. But the real goal of objectivity isn't so much about controlling the information available as about making sure readers get all the facts and interpretations they need to make up their own minds.

Smart journalists draw these facts and interpretations not only from their own investigations but also from reporting and reasonable opinions on social networks — making a well-done objective news story deeply democratic, reflecting input from many places. Objectivity demands only that journalists keep their personal views out of their stories. Personal opinions should be saved for opinion columns, where people expect writers to advocate for their points of view.

Critics sometimes claim objective journalism is a robotic, mindless craft of simply writing down what everyone says. It is nothing of the sort. So-called fake news and fantasy narratives have no place in an objective news article. Some things happened; others didn't. A newsmaker spoke in one context; to put his or her words in another is a lie. Journalists remain responsible for the truth of what they publish.

Some critics also accuse objective journalists of scrubbing humanity and emotion out of stories in a bid to avoid any opinion. But objectivity doesn't mean rejection of human feeling. The slaying of children by a gunman at a school can be fairly referred to as horrific; there is no need for a paragraph saying “on the other hand.” A photographer covering a war or disaster can put aside his camera when he has a chance to save a life.

The world will be far poorer if journalism is allowed to become nothing but a stream of opinion pieces, which by their nature shortchange some points of view in order to advance the author's argument.

Society must have a place where thoughtful readers without the time to do extensive personal research can find fair, accurate accounts of events as well as a variety of responsible opinion to put them into context. Objective journalism fills this need.

Con

Bruce Thornton
Research Fellow, Hoover Institution; Professor of Classics and Humanities, Fresno State University. Written for CQ Researcher, June 2017

So-called objective journalism is another progressive idea based on scientism, the notion that human behavior and action can be as predictable and reliable as science. In earlier times, media reported obvious facts, but the political interpretation of those facts reflected what James Madison called the “passions and interests” of the competing political factions in a diverse country. The numerous newspapers across the country reflected this diversity, which is why they often had the word “Democrat” or “Republican” in their titles.

After World War II, journalism was professionalized and training happened in “J schools” at liberal universities, which biased much reporting toward liberal and urban sensibilities. The advent of television reduced the number of newspapers that once provided diversity, allowing the liberal interpretation to dominate far beyond the media centers in New York, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles.

In the 1960s journalism became an activist and advocacy business. Coverage of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal interpreted events from a partisan and left-wing perspective that saw U.S. intervention as neocolonial adventurism and President Richard Nixon as a budding tyrant out to destroy the Constitution. As a consequence, South Vietnam was abandoned to the communist North, and Nixon was forced to resign, paving the way for Jimmy Carter's disastrous foreign policy of retreat and appeasement.

The repeal of the Federal Communications Commission's Fairness Doctrine in 1987 was followed by the advent of talk radio, which began to erode the monopoly of the big-three television networks and dominant newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Then came cable news with shows like Fox News, and the internet. Now thousands of outlets reflect the diversity of opinion that the First Amendment was written to protect. Where once maybe 50 opinion makers dominated political discourse, now there are hundreds of thousands. Their impact became clear when in 2004 CBS icon Dan Rather was brought down by internet sleuths for reporting “fake news” about George W. Bush's National Guard service.

Today we've returned to a true “marketplace of ideas” in which diverse political perspectives can compete, and ideological biases pretending to be “objective” can be exposed within hours. Once more it is up to the citizens to be informed and use their critical judgment rather than taking on faith the reporting of a handful of media outlets. If they misuse that freedom, that's the price always to be paid when people are free.