English Student writes about whether or not a writer can ever be truly unbiased

The author of this essay, Laerte Andrade Neto
The author of this essay, Laerte Andrade Neto

The first lesson for all Journalism students should be trying to be as objective as they can when writing, but be sure that you will fail. And this rule works for all writing producers. Then you can think that all rules have its exception and maybe – but nothing other than maybe -, cooking recipes or any other kinds of technical writing descriptions can fit as an exception. However, some reasons which support the presented idea are personal opinion, sponsors and choosing facts. Let me show you the ones I chose for this text.

First of all, every writer has their own personal opinion. Stronger or not, it is a fact that some different aspects influence what you decide to put on a paper. Background is one of them. If you were born in a rich and well-educated family or in another one with basic needs and where you had to work instead of studying during your childhood for example, it would interfere how you understand social rights. Experience is important too. If you spent your whole life in a dictatorial or even in a democratic country or if you had the opportunity to live in different countries with different cultures and government systems, your point of view about politicians would be narrowed or widened. The same if you just lived in a small or big city, with different problems and advantages.

In addition, almost all the communication vehicles have sponsors or a company mission. In other words, different newspapers, TV broadcasts and internet news sources are tied to people and companies which support them financially by advertising incomes or any other kind of relationship. In this point, I want to make an exception to blogs and other new media that have allowed producers to write with liberty. At the same time, these writers continue to be impacted by their personal beliefs and maybe in that type of media it is much more perceptible.

Finally, choosing facts and placement are something so tender but that have the power to change the whole meaning when writing. It can be found in daily news. However, in history books it is even more powerful. Last July in Brazil, protests against the increased fare of public transportation were being considered as vandalism by the biggest national broadcasts, which were in favor of violent police repression  One week after the first protest, when thousands of people walked together for the same purpose in several cities, the same media were against the abuse of police force. The same in history, when heroes or villains can be created depending on the facts and their placement. Che Guevara can be seen on a lot of socialist supporters’ t-shirts but he is seen as a dictator for some historians.

In conclusion, all writers will be impacted by some aspect that will take the impartiality away from their writings. Personal opinion, sponsors or fact choosing are just some of them. Unless you want to describe how bake a cake or fix a car, probably you will fall in the same rule described in the first paragraph. And maybe your cake can have different tastes depending on what order you choose for the flour or the milk.

Do you think writers can be unbiased?

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