The "objectivity'' ideal and its limitations in 20th-century British journalism

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Scholars of British journalism often refer to an Anglo-American shared ideal of "objectivity.'' While well-demonstrated in the American context, however, this ideal is merely assumed in the British context. In fact, a close examination of professional discourse among 20th-century British journalists shows the limitations of this ideal's appeal. Although it has appeared in particular contexts, specifically as corporate norms at Reuters and the BBC, throughout the 20th century it was never accepted as a generalized ideal among British journalists. Particularly among print journalists, such ideals as independence, fair play, and non-intervention by the state were far more compelling than objectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-493
Number of pages17
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Anglo-American media traditions
  • British journalism
  • Communication
  • culture of journalism
  • objectivity
  • professional ideals

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