Nobody has ever read an Objective newspaper. If I bother to say this to a journalist, he inevitably froths at the mouth before rebutting:
"You're only saying that because you're a socialist."
Everyone says it, I reply. Leftists, Centrists, Rightists.
"Exactly! Everyone criticizes us. That shows that we're fair."
Actually, if everyone hates you, it's probably not because you're fair. It's probably because you suck.
The propagation of the mythical notion of Journalistic Objectivity should be understood as an advertising ploy. Remember that the News Media deals in information, which, before the Digital Revolution, was mostly scarce. To gain their audiences, outlets needed to distinguish their information from their competitors'.
The New York Times cites its relevancy ("All the news that's fit to print"). Fox pretends it's fair and balanced. Others play up their speed, the usefulness of their news, the reputations of their contributors and so on.
These are exactly the kind of claims you would expect from information peddlers seeking bigger audiences. When a newspaper says it's Objective, it's saying that it contains the Truth. Its reporters and editors are therefore trained professionals in the field of Truth. And they should not be troubled with the irrelevant objections of its Truth-deficient audience. The lay public, you see, will inevitably lapse into undisciplined, subjective thinking.
Fortunately, we get the last laugh. Newspapers are dying. The Internet has democratized Information, and now the public - armed with free publishing - does its own reporting, fact checking and analyzing. It's foolish to believe the NYT has exclusive access to the Truth when we can read every day about its oversights and misjudgments.
Yes, the reporter and the editor produce articles in accord with professional principles, but those articles are also shaped by imprecise things like intuition, timing, and space restrictions.
News stories aren't immaculate conceptions. They are subjective interpretations. Like yours. Like mine.