The Impartial Writer: Fact or Myth?

A Well-Known Kazak Reporter

Today you will find many news agencies claiming to be fair & impartial in their presentation of news.
There are also many bloggers who claim to be pragmatic & impartial.
I consider myself one of those so called "impartial" writers but, upon honest inspection, I find that my writing eventually pushes my ideals...
How unimpartial!

So is it possible for a writer to be impartial?
I spent some time on the toilet bowl considering the possibility of an impartial writer...
This is what came out...

Consider this situation.
Side A is in conflict with Side B.
In this situation, the writer has several choices to make in his portrayal of this conflict.
He can either choose to side with A or side with B.
He can even side with both or condemn both!
Alternatively, he can choose to be neutral and narrate the situation as it is.

Let us now consider how neutral a writer can be when narrating a situation.
Covering of the strengths of A, no matter now neutrally presented, will give an advantage to A. Vice versa in the coverage of B.
Covering the weaknesses or flaws of A, no matter now neutrally presented, will give an advantage to B. Vice versa in the coverage of B.
Therefore, in order to be the neutral writer, he has to be fair & present the strengths of both sides. Vice versa in presenting weaknesses.

However, no strengths are the same nor are any two weaknesses the same.
Therefore, in order to come out as neutral or fair, the neutral writer will have to apply balance.
And balancing is NOT impartial.
It weakens the stronger & strengthens the weaker!

Therefore, I dare say any self-proclaimed impartial writer is in fact a liar.
However, writers do not dictate how readers respond to their writing.
Every reader has a response to every piece of writing he/she reads!
Come on, admit it, you are responding to my masterpiece even right now!
Reading the work of a writer that sides with A does not automatically convert the reader into siding with A...
(If you haven't realised already...) The reader has a choice!

So here is something for you, my readers, to consider...
As you were reading, examine your own thoughts/opinions/criticisms/appraisals...
Which side is it on?
How did you come up with those opinions?
What is your justification for those opinions?
What are your references?

Therefore readers, I urge you...
Be a perceptive reader...
Dont be fools merely regurgitating what you see...
Be media literate...
Reflect on what is read & examine the points discussed before you accept it as fact...

Comments

  1. Being impartial itself is a value, and you can never truly be impartial if you are guided by values you believe in.

    The same goes for reading and researching. People who claim that objectivity in research exists needs to wake up. The believe in objectivity and value-free research itself renders their work subjective.

    LOL I spent the whole of the last trimester arguing this stance for my research methodology paper!

    ReplyDelete
  2. whoa. im stunned. really. to read ahkam's masterpiece and joanne's respond to it really opens up my mind to another side of the other side. *it is indeed an absolute masterpiece, Jarod!* well written and beautifully done.two toes and two thumbs up! :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. Joanne:
    A wonderful topic to discuss!
    Good choice!
    I'm sure you got an A!
    =)

    Nayzi:
    hahaha~~
    Got lost in it!
    Fall in love!
    Hate it!
    Yes, respond to my masterpiece!

    ReplyDelete
  4. To be completely impartial is too idealistic. Our values do guide us. Even the things we choose to write about are dependent on these values.

    What is more important, however, to be a fair writer. Respect our readers enough to not undervalue their thoughts. If it is an opinion-based piece that we are working on, be sure to support the opinion with evidence or examples.

    Once in a while, we will write some thing which may not go down well with our readers and that is okay as long as we have tried to be fair.

    ReplyDelete

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