Article Title: Reddit, with wigs and ink
In the article at hand, the author sheds light on the nature of news as created in the public forum, and contrasts an older understanding of this issue with modern times. To provide an idea on how ‘objective’ news was first brought to public notice, the author takes the reader back to the newspapers of as long back as the 17th century. In these times, and extending right up to before the 20th century, objectivity was a trait severely lacking in news reporting. When the medium of the newspaper first came into circulation, it took large parallels from the form of letter writing to familiarise itself with the public. And since letter writing was a peculiarly confidential and private act, the sharing of biased opinion was prevalent in it, which also crossed over to newspapers. Objective news reporting can solve various problems if used fully and properly (for example, informing people about the factual environmental damage caused by them, an issue biased reporting has managed to confound). However, reporting is not fully objective even in the 21st century, realising the fears of all those of the 17th century who though circulating news media would just lead to sharing of scandal and gossip, not rational opinion. While the rapid replacement of paper by electronic media has some role to play in scandal-mongering, the fault is not of that alone, but belongs to human nature, argues the author.
Words to learn from this article:
Objectivity: the quality of being unbiased and rational.
Discourse: the rhetoric surrounding a particular issue.
Melancholy: sad, gloomy.
Quintessentially: very saliently.
Epistolary: related to the form of letter writing.
Perusal: reading, scrutinising.
Obsequiousness: servile obedience.
Want more Daily Reads? Explore here: