Thoughts on Telling the Story (Ch. 1)
The media and journalism industry in the U.S. is constantly changing. The role it used to fill back when my parents were younger isn’t necessarily the same thing it is now. Furthermore, there are stereotypes and assumptions made about journalists now that have never been an issue before.
In “Telling the Story”, the Missouri Group explains how the role of journalism goes much deeper than simply sharing news. They even go so far as to say that journalists guarantee liberty, maintain civilization and protect democracy. Those are all noble tasks, but unfortunately the stereotypes about journalists being biased and sharing only part of the story definitely has roots in something.
The book also addresses this issue and importantly points out that everyone comes into the field of journalism with a bias, whether their writing reflects that or not. What is really important is that as journalists, we accurately convey all of the news and information despite our bias.
This is incredibly crucial because most people don’t have the luxury of being able to visit the scene of a crime and talk to witnesses about it. We as journalists have been charged and blessed with the incredible task of learning and conveying the truth to the people. We have the opportunity to learn people’s stories and share them so that others do not have to be ignorant.
Throughout the history of journalism, but especially in recent years, a handful of journalists have chosen to abuse the power we have been given and alter the truth that the people are receiving. They allowed their bias to affect their story dramatically enough that it is no longer truth, but truth through their bias, which is not really truth at all.
The book also addresses the problem that arises when we as journalists simply are given false information or, in one way or another, have not happened upon the truth of the matter. Unfortunately, we will be held responsible regardless. It is simply our job to seek out, discover and share the “best obtainable version of the truth” objectively and to the best of our abilities.