At a time when news consumers are questioning traditional journalistic notions of balance and objectivity, research suggests the way journalists view their own work is evolving. Readers, too, are embracing that new ideology.
For more than 40 years, the American Journalist surveys have periodically asked journalists what they thought were the most important aspects of their jobs. Researchers then used these responses to classify journalists into ideological types. Historically, journalists were divided into two groups: the Disseminators, who favor detachment and objectivity, and the Interpretives, who favor involvement and advocacy. By the early 2000s, two new roles emerged: the Adversarials, who show a more combative outlook toward government and business, and the Populist Mobilizers, who reflect a movement toward civic journalism that emphasizes giving ordinary citizens a voice.