Columbia professor Todd Gitlin argues on the Times op-ed page Monday that reporting that tries to be objective (by the mainstream journalism definition) is far from finished.
Rumors of the death of truth—at least the death of aspirations for truth—in favor of mere "opinion" or "perspective" or "take" are greatly exaggerated....Despite the evident frailties of mainstream journalism, even those who operate around its margins—bloggers, Op-Ed writers, even some of the more opinionated sectors of cable—are still completely dependent on it and still believe they're getting some truth there. (Where would Bill O'Reilly or Al Franken be without a daily newspaper?)
And so it is even for the reporting of news scandal. If you are one of the many who, for one reason or another, doubt that CBS News, say, is objective, or go so far as to argue that there's no such thing as objectivity in the first place, don't turn to the Boccardi-Thornburgh report for confirmation. In fact, the report illustrates the opposite. Boccardi, Thornburgh and their lawyer collaborators relied on journalistic fundamentals to try to get to the bottom of what went wrong at CBS News.
His bottom line: "The belief in objectivity (however convoluted a sharp definition may be) persists—even, perversely, in that disingenuous Fox News slogan, "Fair and Balanced." Beat up on CBS News all you like—but in the name of better journalism, not shout-fests."