The Understanding of Truth Changes Over Time:
- Ancient Greece: what we remember through song and poetry – oral truth
- Plato: what is true is somehow linked to rationality and intellect, not knowable by
experience (allegory of the cave exemplifies the fallacies of experience when it
comes to knowing truth).
- Medieval Times: what God or the King says
- Enlightenment: what is verifiable, replicable, universal – cast in secular terms,
corresponding to external facts. The basis of the ideal of objectivity in journalism.
- Pragmatism: depends on individual perception and context.
Standard of Objectivity in the Early 1900s
- Press becomes less partisan to appeal to broader audience and advertisers
o Because support is gained through political advertising
- Reaction to the 1890s “yellow journalism” which used sensationalism and
fabrication to increase circulation
o Opinion relegated to specific pages, fact to others.
- Philosophical foundations in Enlightenment view of truth
- Changing notion of truth – is there an objective truth?