Blogs » Easy writer » Are newspapers objective?


We are taking a beating over our Fatal Funnel series on a different part of this site. In one of the forums, someone made this comment: "When it comes to the press it is not like the old days where unbiased reporting stood as a standard to reporters just like the Hippocratic oath stands for physicians. Times have changed."

That is an interesting observation. In my opinion, journalists back then probably weren't any more objective than journalists are now.

Everyone has biases. Reporters and editors aren't any different. The difference is we must recognize those biases and guard against them. Every reporter I've ever worked with had biases, some pretty obvious. Almost all of them, though, worked hard to ensure their reporting was balanced and fair.

I think that is really the key here: fairness. Did we give both sides of the story a chance to comment? What it comes down to for a lot of people is this: If we report a story that you don't agree with, no matter how balanced it is, you tend to think it's biased against you.

An old newsroom joke goes: We must be doing our job well if both sides are mad at us. Case in point, the indicted officials vs. the district attorney stories. Both sides have claimed, some rather pointedly, that we are biased.

It is an interesting debate. What do you think? Are we biased?

Thanks as always for reading and commenting.


P.S. If you ever do see unbalanced reporting, please let me know.