In my mind, one of the most pernicious ideas in America today is the nonsensical notion that our major media outlets should strive for objectivity. My thesis is that "objective news" is a 60 year anomaly in a history of mass communications that dates to Gutenberg. But why did the goal of "objectivity" develop then? Was it the rise of J school?
What if the hidden cause is an anti-trust issue?
David Warsh quotes Richard Gingras, senior director of news and social products at Google, on the subject of post war consolidation:
It[television] continued to grow; and so what you saw over the fifties was this progression that occurred so that what you saw was a contraction in the number of newspapers. In cities like New York, you had, depending on how you define what a newspaper was, more than a dozen, maybe two dozen newspapers. The average market had maybe five or six. But by the time we got to the early sixties, that went from five, four, three, down to two, down to one, maybe two in some markets…. And what happened then was that the guys who remained standing – from a democratic perspective this wasn’t good thing because we had fewer voices – but from a business model perspective, for those who remained standing, they had tremendous power, near-monopolistic control over the newspaper ad market in those cities, and they took appropriate advantage.