Bromke’s article, “The Objective of Objectivity”, mentions the need for news stations to provide accurate and unbiased information if they want to remain relevant. Otherwise, people will turn to other sources, like the internet. However, how can we be sure that the story is actually being told objectively?
Many people are skeptical of the news because they do not know where the information is coming from or if they are getting all of the facts. Even if you read an article that includes only the truth about a certain event, there could still be bias. The author may have chosen to only include facts that make the event sound a certain way.
The way a person’s day went could sound quite different depending on what details the individual chooses to share. Here is a fictitious example of someone describing their day at the beach in two different way because different details were included in each account:
Version One (intended to sound like a bad day):
We walked there in the 100 degree heat.
The sand felt like it was burning our feet.
We got sand on the ice cream we bought.
The water was too cold to swim in for more than a few minutes.
Version Two (intended to sound like a good day):
The sun was shining and we decided to walk to the beach.
We laid out a large blanket and planted our umbrella for shade.
After settling in, we rewarded ourselves with some ice cream.
We walked along the edge of the water and felt the cool, wet sand beneath our feet.
The truth can easily be manipulated to come across in a different manner. We choose what details to include when we share information, which is why we cannot be one hundred percent objective. This is something that we must take into consideration when we read or listen to various news stories.
We are all influenced by the ideas and experiences that we have been exposed to, and these things affect how we see the world and the people around us. According to Using a Chicana Feminist Epistemology in Educational Research, “one’s personal experience represents a very important source of cultural institution and is derived from the background that we each bring to the research situation…This often implicit knowledge helps us to understand events, actions, and words, and to do so more confidently than if one did not bring these particular life experiences into the research” (Bernal 564). It is especially important for sociologists to identify their own personal background and beliefs and determine how that may influence the information that they have gathered about different societies. For example, one sociologist may consider a particular social behavior unusual while another may find it normal depending on what behaviors each sociologist has been exposed to prior to studying that society.
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