In Deborah Scranton's documentary, War Tapes, focuses on the war that happened in Iraq using the soldiers' point of view and personal war stories, as well as their families' who are all based in the United States. What started out simply as a documentary of events that transpired in Iraq has grown into a movie-like presentation of the actual events. The documentary was wrought with emotions and thus, bleeding with human-interest factors. While this type of news reporting is nothing new considering what is known as participatory reporting, the question about objectivity arises as well in that the stories all came from the soldiers filming the scene.
Objectivity in news reporting means, "when covering hard news, reporters don't convey their own feelings, biases or prejudices in their stories" (Rogers) using unbiased language. McManus (2009) argues that objectivity is difficult to attain especially since the audience prefer that journalists report news that would be of interest to the general people and those news that "touch both [the] heart and [the] head". This deviates from the real meaning of how and what it means to be objective because understanding what will capture the audience's attention is a subjective view – what one may consider as news may not necessarily be for another person's perception. It is similar with understanding what reality is because one person's reality and perception is different from another person's interpretation.
In the case of War Tapes, because the soldiers themselves were filming the events and actually experiencing the effects of war, I think it is quite difficult to maintain objectivity when one sees death and chaos around. I am more inclined to think that the style of reporting is biased considering that the soldiers themselves see only one side of the fence, that is, the side of the American soldiers. However, when stories such as these are reported using an outsider's perspective, it is more likely that the reporting is more objective because there are no emotions involved.
McManus, J.H. (2009). Objectivity: It's time to say goodbye. Nieman Reports. Retrieved from http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/101564/Objectivity-Its-Time-to-Say-Goodbye.aspx
Rogers, T. (n.d.). Objectivity and fairness. About.com. Retrieved from http://journalism.about.com/od/ethicsprofessionalism/a/objectivity.htm