The Press: The Fetish of Objectivity

One of the most treacherous journalistic cliches is that a news story should always "let the facts speak for themselves." Thoughtful newsmen know that the facts alone seldom can, that they speak clearly only when they are told in proper order and perspective—and thus interpreted—by an honest journalist. Nevertheless, many a U.S. editor still damns interpretive reporting and sticks to his fetish of "objectivity," though the briefest item in his newspaper may, in fact, be interpretive reporting. Last week Palmer Hoyt's Denver Post thought it time to read such editors a lecture on the facts of journalistic life. Said the Post:


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