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Balance and objectivity
are key to reporting QT6

Posted by on Sep 6, 2017 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Teaching | 0 comments

Balance and objectivity don’t mean isolation and a lack of care about people and their stories.

They do mean trying to report all points of view as best you can and providing background and context for the story.

Today’s student journalists, just like their commercial counterparts, should care about people and issues, and should strive show solutions to those issues when and where they exist.

Students can best do that using a representative range of sources presented objectively. Objectivity is hardly dead in reporting; it exists thorough complete and cohesive reporting.

Hard to define but impossible to have good journalism without it: Balance and objectivity are essential to media reporting.

 

Guideline: Journalists should prioritize balance and objectivity as a staff philosophy and content standard. Staff members can help achieve this by increasing staff diversity and seeking multiple perspectives. Balance and objectivity suggest a concern for issues surrounding the content of the story, types of sources and overall content student media covers in the span of a year. 

Stance: Balance and objectivity mean the media cover multiple sides of an issue without favoring any viewpoint. They continuously seek ways to be representative and complete. It’s almost impossible to be completely objective, but, through seeking staff diversity and assessing sources carefully, staffs can approach that goal.

Reasoning/suggestions: As bloggers, tweeters and other citizen journalism media have become more pervasive, trained journalists — and that includes student journalists — begin to realize they need to fill the holes where some citizen journalism and social media information fails to be balanced, complete and objective.

Resources:

Audio: Balance and Objectivity, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee, Press Rights Minute

The lost meaning of objectivity, Walter Dean and Tom Rosenstiel, American Press Institute

Balance and objectivity, JEASPRC.org

Tools to manage bias, American Press Institute

 

 

 

 

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Twitter: Creating a balance
between reporting role and social life

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Jeff Kocur
The Zac Brown Band recently played to a full house at the Target Center in Minneapolis, and the Star Tribune’s critic gave a scathing review.

Reader comments attached to the story, though, exposed the writer’s dance between his snarky Twitter world and his professional responsibility to the readers.

A reader revealed the writer had tweeted several hours prior to the concert that “I had better start drinking now so I can get in the right mindset to give ZBB a fair review tonight.”

During the concert, he tweeted out things he did not like about the show. The covers, songs that went on too long, comments made by the band, & etc. littered the 20 plus tweets he sent out from the concert.

For me, this crossed a line I wanted to discuss with my kids as they engage more in Twitter as journalists.

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