“Everyone knows The Evening Sun is a Republican newspaper.”
“Don’t trust the liberal media.”
Two reader comments, as far apart on the right-left scale as you can get, both made in the same week. Week after week. When it comes to politics, a newspaper just can’t win.
Not that we’re trying to, of course. The Holy Grail of journalism is objectivity, that steady, middle-of-the-road absolute that is, in the end, utterly unattainable. The mere fact that every morning I pick and choose which stories to put in the newspaper and where based on what’s given to me by The Associated Press, my own reporters and the space available, already puts a chink in our objectivity armor. What you see in this newspaper today is not all the news there is, nor even all the news that’s fit to print ... rather, it’s likely all the news that fit.
More than in any other, the arena of politics – world, national, state and local – is one in which we strive for objectivity as much as humanly possible. But again, the reports we receive from the AP and those of our own staff are colored to a degree by the eyes of the reporter who wrote the story, choosing the topic, the presentation, the photo, the quotes and all the words in between.