"The True" in Journalism
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Citation (published version)Juliet Floyd. 2019. ""The True" in Journalism." In: Journalism and the Search for Truth, ed. James E. Katz, Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190900250.001.0001
“The True” is a central norm of journalism that cannot be reduced away to something else: opinion, consensus, social force, power, or demographic identity. There are no “alternative” facts, though there are of course alternative interpretations of facts. The evolution of social media platforms have made collective pursuit of the ideal of “the True” more difficult and complex in our time. Just as in the 15th century the printing press led to the dissemination of forms of scepticism, so today, as the manufacture of doubt is disseminated by algorithms, distrust of journalists is widespread and increasing. Following Frege, we argue that journalists should nevertheless pursue the norm of “the True” as a central, irreducible and irreplaceable norm. We survey debates over “the True” from Frege through the pragmatists, social constructivists, deconstructionists, deflationists. In the end, we side with those who refuse to eliminate “the True”: Frege, Wittgenstein, Quine, Putnam and Diamond. “The True” should not be reduced to something it is not. Nevertheless we should be realistic about the struggle involved in unfolding and revealing it. The struggle for appropriate representation, acknowledgement of “the True”, is a central target of journalism, as it is also in everyday life.
Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190900250.001.0001