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If the notion of impartiality is the professional lodestar of modern journalism, particularly in UK broadcast newsrooms, then where does this leave the idea that journalists either are, can be or should be objective?

The two ideas are often taken to be much the same thing and used interchangeably (Harcup, 2004). But although there is some relationship, they rest on rather different world views. Whereas impartiality as expressed in press and broadcasting codes of practice, is taken to include notions of fairness, even-handedness, and accuracy, objectivity is philosophically a tougher nut. It's predicated on the notion that there are observable things external to the mind; that there are independently verifiable ‘facts’ that can be separated from subjective values (Schudson, 1978 in Tumber, 1999).

This concept arose ...

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