Notes on the perils of constructed objectivity

I mentioned objectivity a few posts ago, with the promise that I’d get around to putting up something I wrote on the topic for a class. I’m not going into the details of “What’s a literature review?” and I’m certainly ignoring the question “What’s a mini-lit-review?”

a slide from my presentation on objectivity

For your enjoyment, here’s my short literature review on The Nature of News.

An excerpt for the click-shy:

Lippmann saw the news media as a searchlight scanning the landscape, its beam too narrow to put what it shines on into context. The interpreters of events, the span of their searchlight limited by time, space, and convention, use stereotypes to fill in the gaps. Like mythic archetypes woven into the structure of storytelling, these stereotypes are intended to be broadly comprehended. These should be the lowest common denominators that hold a society together. Unfortunately, these shortcuts tend to reinforce the status quo. By performing this function, the news media is unintentionally proving Klapper’s 1960 limited effects hypothesis.