Sunday, May 15, 2011

Be open-mined. Ask Questions.

Shawna Polivka

Journalists want to inform people. They want to make sure people are receiving accurate information about the world. They want to make a difference and increase knowledge. It is our job to report information as unbiased as possible.

State the facts

I think any reporter should be able to sit down and just state the facts. If a reporter does not find all the information and someone points out another side of the story, that’s great. It’s communication and allows for discussion. One person can’t know it all.

Step outside the box

A reporter should be able to sense when their story might have a biased edge. If a liberal journalist is reporting on a conservative issue, they should probably take many stops along the way to double check that they are only reporting the facts. You don’t have to agree with everyone, but it is a journalist’s job to understand and take a look at the situation from all angles. Every journalist should be open-minded. They should like people and want to find out more about individuals and their lives. After looking at some tips on reporting unbiased, I’ve decided that journalists should look for the best in everyone, but not believe everything.

Follow the code

The Code of Ethics created by the Society of Professional Journalists states that one should, “Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.” A journalists needs to know when their work is not objective.

James O’Keefe

James O’Keefe III knew what he was doing when he specifically cut out specific parts of his video on NPR’s Ron Schiller. He takes undercover to a whole new level. He has an agenda to expose. People watching, though, probably know his views. I separate him from other news sources. I personally don't consider him to be a respected. This video by ABC World News describes some of his extreme reporting.

At the end of the day, we are journalists. It is our job to ask questions. The more you ask, the better.

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