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Journalistic objectivity and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

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posted on 23.05.2021, 11:39 by Ryan Harris Parker
The press is a constitutive part of our society. It helps create national identities and formulates society's understanding of itself and its place in the world. Moreover, a free press is indispensable for ensuring the vibrancy of a democracy. For these reasons, a close inspection of news, and an evaluation of its performance, is crucial. We must look to the development of the mass press at the turn of the twentieth century to locate the beginnings of journalistic objectivity and the type of news we are familiar with today. The first section of this paper offers a review of accounts of this transformational period, placing opposing theories within the larger framework of the frictions between cultural studies and political economy, and underscores the need for a holistic understanding of the period. The second section chronicles the press's articulation of its new professional tenets, offers a definition of journalistic objectivity, and reveals its intrinsic limitations. The third section details how the modern press's ideal democratic mandate has been compromised, with the influence of the press being used instead to ensconce powerful interests. And the fourth section outlines the calls for a redefinition of journalism in light of the failures covered in the preceding section. Finally, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is offered as an alternative journalistic form that transcends the dangerous dogma of traditional news outlets, allowing it to fulfill the democratic responsibility of the press by encouraging a critical and astute citizenry.



Master of Arts


Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type