Let's Talk About: Objectivity in Journalism

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WrittenBy:NL Team
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The word ‘objectivity’ has garnered increasing usage in the world of journalism in recent years. Yet, its meaning remains elusive to many. For some, it represents a method that must be followed by those who claim to present the truth to the wider world, while for others, it’s a mental skill that allows for impartial and balanced judgment.

Speaking to several prominent journalists and writers, Abhinandan Sekhri tries to grapple with the various definitions and facets of objectivity—has the term always had a fixed meaning? Is it better suited for science than for journalism? Using thought experiments, literary allusions and big philosophical words, he seeks an answer to the ultimate question: is objectivity even desirable?


Ravish Kumar is one of India’s most well-known TV anchors; he is a journalist and writer who covers topics pertaining to politics and society. He is a senior executive editor at NDTV India. He hosts the programmes Prime TimeHum Log and Ravish Ki Report.

R Jagannathan is currently Editorial Director of Swarajya. He has been part of many launch teams, including Business TodayDNA and Firstpost.com. He was Editor, Financial Express where he began his career as a reporter/sub-editor.

Hartosh Bal is Political Editor at The Caravan, and the author of Waters Close Over Us: A Journey Along the Narmada. He was formerly the political editor at OPEN Magazine.

Madhu Trehan is the Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Newslaundry, Madhu Trehan is a veteran journalist and writer. She is the founding editor of India Today who founded, produced and anchored Newstrack, India’s first video news magazine.

Anand Vardhan is a columnist for Newslaundry. He writes on Indian politics and history and appears regularly on the podcasts NL Hafta and NL Charcha.

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Arguing for Our Lives: A User’s Guide to Constructive Dialogue and most recently, The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men. 

Christopher Hitchens was a British-American author, journalist, and literary critic. He was a columnist at Vanity FairThe AtlanticThe Nation, and Slate, and the author of God is not Great and Letters to a Young Contrarian, among others.


Host Abhinandan Sekhri

Producers Kartik Nijhawan

Parikshit Sanyal

Editing Umrav Singh Gurjar

Recording Anil Kumar

Script & Research Abhinandan Sekhri

Ayush Tiwari

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