What is The Objective?

The Objective’s reporting is meant to confront inequities in coverage that have been recognized as rooted in the notion of “objectivity” since the 1950s and continue today.

To that end, we publish reporting, first-person commentary, and reported essays on how journalism has interacted with historically-ignored communities in terms of hiring and retention in newsrooms, as well as coverage.

We are an all-volunteer collective, several of us with full-time jobs outside of this work. But we believe this kind of coverage is not an occasional way to cover journalism, but the focal point.

Major American newsrooms have for generations called themselves objective. But coverage at these outlets, at all points in time, has always been subjectively defined by homogenous newsrooms. 

The history is right in front of us. The New York Times initially refused to print the word “gay” in paper and intentionally ignored covering the AIDS crisis. The Washington Post hired its first Black journalist in 1952 (he left after two years). And the Los Angeles Times’s Editor-in-Chief only in 2020 admitted that the paper “fomented the hysteria that led to Japanese American incarceration, the Zoot Suit Riots, redlining and racial covenants.” 

Objectivity was first developed as an idea at the turn of the century for publishers to sell papers through appealing to the widest possible audience. It has since morphed into a badge of honor for American journalists, who rarely confront its origin. As newspapers struggle and retreat up-market, writing for wealthier and whiter audiences, this definition of objectivity has changed too. 

If you have questions, you can reach us at questions@objectivejournalism.org

How to Pitch Us

Please submit your pitches to submissions@objectivejournalism.org.

We’re an all-volunteer collective of writers. We don’t currently pay and all editing is done on a volunteer basis.

Emails should include “Pitch: [Proposed Headline]” in the subject line. Please also include:

  • What: What is your piece about? Keep us interested, but keep the pitch short.

  • Who: Who do you expect to interview (if anyone)?

  • When: How long do you expect writing and interviews to take? When can you send us a draft?

  • Why: Why are you are the best person to write this piece?

  • The Fixings: How many words do you expect your piece to be? Who do you expect to interview (if anyone)? Please also include short bio and (a maximum of three) relevant examples of previous work.