What can and cannot be known according to journalism and our noetic field, or what is the epistemology of journalism? That’s obviously a big question, and any answer I offer here is necessarily general and incomplete.
That said, we may observe that journalism operates with an objectivist epistemology: What is real is located in the material world and human actions within that world. What can be known are empirically verifiable phenomena. We are connected to the material world by our senses and certain faculties of the mind, which are capable of perceiving the world through sense impressions and then thinking about, and acting upon, these impressions.
Journalism’s challenge in this epistemology is to perceive the world correctly and then represent perceptions correctly through language.
What we cannot perceive through our senses cannot be known (the subjective). For example, journalistic epistemology tells us we cannot know the minds of people without verifiable data collected by, or told to, an objective observer.
In journalism we arrive at truth through a method of induction by collecting data from our senses and reasoning from these data to generalizations about the world. Truth comes before language. Language is a sign system for transcribing truth as it is witnessed or experienced by the reporter and/or the source.
The objective process of reporting and editing fits this epistemology. Reporters observe events and other physical data and/or speak to those who have. The meaning of events (a concept slipping dangerously close to the subjective) is limited to a narrow range of contemporary issues and relationships.
Because it is empirically verifiable that humans disagree about events (our opinions), reporters collect data from “both sides” and present these data without comment, allowing readers to apply their own reasoning to discover the incorrect opinion versus the correct representation of events.