Round Earth Media

Keeping Bias Out

March 16, 2018

How do you keep bias out of stories?

That’s one question readers asked ProPublica Illinois, a regional affiliate of it’s parent non-profit, ProPublica, an acclaimed news organization producing investigative journalism.

“In what is a particularly turbulent time for the press, many of us in journalism have come to realize the public doesn’t necessarily know as much about the way we go about our jobs as we may think,”wrote ProPublica Illinois editor-in-chief Louis Kiernan,

So ProPublica Illinois is asking for readers’ questions.  In answer to the one about bias, here’s ProPublica Illinois reporter Jason Grotto:

“In the reporting, we have to be sure the question we pursue can be answered with verifiable facts. The key is ‘verifiable.’ That is, any fact presented in a story must be based on documents, data or reliable, on-the-record human sources.”

For more on this hugely important issue — especially in our era of “fake news” – clickHERE.

Readers also asked this question: How do you know when a story is ready to publish?  We’re lucky at Round Earth Media because, like ProPublica, Round Earth isn’t a news outlet trying to cover breaking news.  That gives us more time to work on our stories, a huge plus in getting the story right.*

ProPublica Illinois reporter Melissa Sanchez goes on to explain.

“There is no easy formula for this.  Each story will be different.  It’s a balancing act we’ll always be performing.”  For more on this challengng process, click HERE.

I applaud ProPublica Illinois for answering readers’ questions.  Journalists need to do more of this.  What are your questions for us?

With warm regards,
Mary

* ProPublica’s mission is investigative journalism, mostly covering the US.  Ours is “explanatory journalism” covering the world outside US borders.  What is explanatory reporting?  The Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting says it “illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation.”  That’s our goal at Round Earth.

Round Earth media is a non-profit supporting young journalists around the world, enabling them to find and tell stories the world needs to hear.

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