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Synchronization of the News

Klaus Schoenbach


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“Synchronization” means the selection and presentation of news to favor a medium's marked editorial policy or stance. “Synchronized” news, then, is news selected and presented to support a medium's anti- or pro-government sentiments, for instance, or its liberal or conservative philosophy ( Schoenbach 1977 ). The principle of “comments are free; facts are sacred” is supposed to keep journalists from mixing the facts of a news story with evaluations of those facts. Their own opinion has to stay out of the news, and so has the editorial stance of their media organization or the preferences of other persons or institutions. News is supposed to be factual and sober. What its producers or other people think about it, how they judge it, is limited to →  commentaries and editorials, explicitly marked as such. What at first sight sounds merely like a style restriction on news (“Do not use judgmental words in your news story!”) is just one requirement for a much more ambitious goal of that professional imperative – to enable the audience to make up its own mind, without being manipulated. This is why the norm of separating facts and opinion also concerns the selection and prominence of the facts presented. Journalists are supposed to select and present facts and opinions for their truth to reality and not to support specific views of the world. Synchronization thus actually describes ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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