Here's a great comment, amended to a great article about the future (death) of the newspaper, on the topic of objectivity in journalism:
In reading this wonderful essay, I'm drawn to the words of Chris Lasch, who wrote in his landmark essay, The Lost Art of Political Argument, that the creation of so-called "objective" journalism wasn't at all about the journalism but about the business.(via pressthink)Responsibility came to be equated with the avoidance of controversy, because advertisers were willing to pay for it. Some advertisers were also willing to pay for sensationalism, though on the whole they preferred a respectable readership to sheer numbers. What they clearly did not prefer was "opinion" -- not because they were impressed with (Walter) Lippmann's philosophical arguments, but because opinionated reporting did not guarantee the right audience. No doubt they also hoped that an aura of objectivity, the hallmark of responsible journalism, would rub off on the advertisements that surrounded increasingly slender columns of print.This essay -- originally published in Harper's Magazine in the September 1990 issue -- was one of the cornerstones of my current thinking. If you can find a copy of it, it is very helpful in understanding the current state of journalism.