This research paper deals with the validity of the journalistic norm objectivity within the newly evolving context of online social network sites, in particular Twitter. I propose that social network sites are one of today’s primary battlefields on which the fight between supporters and critics of objectivity takes place. I further argue that journalism should loosen up its frenetic grip on objectivity and allow for more value-laden writing, partly because social network sites have put a new tool into journalists’ hands: journalists can use Twitter as a new and innovative “quote box” by accessing tweets of politicians, athletes, celebrities, and other people alike; they can employ Twitter to exchange information with other journalists around the world; and they can easily access and deliver information as it happens. Further, Twitter proves to be helpful for consumers: they can follow a variety of news sources at the same time; they can directly interact with professional journalists; and they can act themselves as citizen journalists. The facilitated interaction between journalists and consumers, who are increasingly looking for opinionated writing, is at the core of my claim for a less rigid reign of journalistic objectivity in favor of more value-laden reporting. Social network sites present us with a new environment in which the rules of journalistic communication have been completely altered. An appropriate communication in these online communities matters to uphold journalistic credibility and to evolve journalistic work. This can be achieved through accepting journalistic subjectivity as a complement to objectivity.
Hagemeier, Daniel Alexander
"Twitter and the Question of Objectivity: How Social Network Sites Influence a Journalistic Norm,"
Proceedings of the New York State Communication Association:
Vol. 2010, Article 13.
Available at: http://docs.rwu.edu/nyscaproceedings/vol2010/iss1/13