Embracing Bias

"Unbiased" journalism debunked.

A democratic society hinges on the public being informed about the actions of our decision-makers and issues that may affect us. We should strive at all times to report the truth as fairly and accurately as possible. In order to do this, it is imperative that journalists recognize and acknowledge their own biases.

We all have biases (Yes, even you!), whether it be from our economic background, race, sex, religion, or place of origin. Keeping that in mind when you're reporting can help you be more fair. But don't get so defensive or overzealous about it that you slant stories against your viewpoints, either. This doesn't make you objective. Just try to be fair, and report the story how you see it, not how you think you're supposed to see it.

The sooner we recognize that there is no such thing as unbiased journalism, the sooner we can stop lying to ourselves and to others. Bias is unavoidable. Rather than pretending we have no bias, it is better to be upfront with the people so they can decide for themselves what and whom to believe. We should also keep this in mind with alternative media sources, which are often written off for being "biased" because they cover news and views purposefully not reported (or under-reported) in corporate-owned, mainstream media. Alternative media is helping to provide a broader range of viewpoints in journalism so that people aren't getting the establishment's version of 'the truth.'

Also see Civic Involvement for more on journalism and bias.