Yes indeed, that's precisely my point
. It is hard to control one's bias when one feels strongly about a particular topic. I can't imagine that anyone would argue otherwise.
Journalists though, at least in connection with reporting news, consider themselves exceptional, and so while it may be hard not to scream or vomit when viewing a bloody corpse, what experienced journalist doesn't believe he or she is up to the task?
There was a movie back in the early 70's which starred a young Robert Forster and was called "Medium Cool". In it, a News cameraman busily takes film of a car wreck rather than coming to the aid of the injured parties. The cameraman insists that he was remaining true to journalistic ethics and recording rather than becoming part of the story.
This may have even have been referenced in "Medium Cool", but I remember watching "Mondo Cane" as a youth, and feeling not only heart sick over the sea turtles who, due to radiation, couldn't find their way, but anger over the film makers' apparent refusal to help the doomed turtles.
If committed journalists can push past natural instincts to serve an ethos that requires emotional and physical detachment from a real life incident that should trigger an intensely personal reaction, then hiding their bias for a cause
, with which they strongly empathize, should not be all that tough.
Just about every journalist I have heard speak on the topic insists there are journalistic ethics, and I think we can agree that whether or not there actually is an ethos established, promoted and guarded by the profession, journalists believe there is.
So want does the ethos call for?
Detachment of the like seen in "Medium Cool," and "Mondo Cane?"
If such detachment is to be sought and can be achieved, how much easier should objectivity be?
I recently read an article that addressed the journalistic ethos of detachment as respects to reporters in Haiti who happened to be MDs. The article actually suggested that there was an ethical argument relative to physician-reporters providing care to the subjects of their reports.
The only argument I could countenance was the one that suggested the Reporter-MDs were caring for their subjects to increase their ratings.
If you truly believe that journalists cannot be expected to set aside their personal biases when reporting on subjects for which they have an emotional response, then you clearly fall within the camp that asserts journalists have no professional ethics and, therefore, are not members of a profession.
I doubt you will find many journalists who agree with you, but your basic premise leads you, inevitably, to such a conclusion.