Reworking the Definition of Objectivity

I’m studying to be a journalist.

I have a liberal arts background in English and have dabbled in both the sciences (Physics, calculus, chemistry all the basic intro to science classes that teach you the undeniable consistency of the world) and philosophy. I studied rhetoric for at least four years not counting the years of personal experience I put into it growing up – the kind of experiences you have to have in order to want to spend the amount of money I spent on higher education to come away being deemed sufficient in the field of how literary devices work.

So it should be safe to assume that I know about subjective viewpoints as well and how bias plays into life let alone jobs – a subdivision of life.

I’ve never particularly fancied the term objectivity. I felt that it was misleading and a tad narcissistic. It was something people referred too in order to feed  their need for authority. However this past year discussing the place for objectivity, it’s worth, applicability and whether or not it’s a dying fad, has helped me to find a way to work with the principle. I’m all about finding ways to work with things.

I don’t believe in the term as an absolute – I believe in very few things as absolutes. I do believe in it as somewhat of a cultural norm meaning that I can believe that how I do things is objective, open that process up to others and if they also believe it is objective than it becomes acceptable. Acceptable is important to societies and cultures. It defines them uniquely, which is the beauty of life – to be different in your own right.

I believe in objectivity as a fluid process and even destination. Always unobtainable and existing outside of human understanding but necessary to pursue nonetheless in order to foster understanding. And everyone knows that understanding is both foundation and the purpose of knowledge.

Inspired by a Knight Foundation interview with Eric Newton on transparent objectivity in the digital age.


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