Resurrecting the notion of journalistic objectivity: a discussion of journalistic objectivity in one-on-one interviews
A number of recent books on ethics (Hirst and Patching, 2005, Tanner et al,2005, Richards, 2005, Ward, 2006) have indicated that traditional understandings of journalism "objectivity" are in need of renovation if they are to sustain the claim as a guide to ethical action. Ward, argues for the recasting of the notions of traditional objectivity to offer a "pragmatic objectivity" as an alternative and plausible underpinning to ethical journalism practice. He argues that a recast or "pragmatic objectivity" should respond to the changing rhetorical relationship between journalists and their audiences; and, in so doing, should take inspiration from attempts to be objective in other practical domains---professions such as law and public administration in seeking models. This paper seeks to take a step in that direction through illustrating how journalism interviewers do "objectivity" through the adaptation of the principles of the "Fourth Estate to political interviews. It turns such analysis to the ends of establishing the particular "pragmatic ethic" underpinning such practices and how journalism interviewing technique has allowed for proactive journalists to strike a workable balance between pursuing the public interest and observing the restraining protocols of modern journalistic practice.