Journalism and the Bias Boundary

Like most professions, journalism has a few hard, fast rules. First and foremost is to be accurate. This includes everything from the spelling of names to important factual information about the report itself. Accuracy is what gives a reporter credibility in the eyes of the public. Secondly, and no less importantly, there is the duty to tell as many sides of the story as you can—all on deadline of course.

In response to the increasingly present partisan media, the public has become reluctant to take the news at face value. Wondering who exactly is behind the story? What network or corporation is that person affiliated with? –And sadly enough, do they have an ulterior motive in the way they choose to present the news. ‘They,’ being reporters.

One reporter, who refuses to abandon the principle of unbiased journalism, is CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Cooper anchors Anderson Cooper 360, otherwise known as AC360. According to, “Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view so you can make up your own mind about the news.”

Which begs the question, should this not be the goal of all journalists?

A popular AC360 segment is called, “Keeping Them Honest.” During this segment, Cooper challenges authority and seeks to expose corruption. The goal in short, is to tell the whole story, from beginning to end. —Again, is this not the goal of all journalists? And if that is not the goal, what is?

In a recent segment of “Keeping Them Honest,” Cooper displays his ability to uncover the whole story, by seeking out all of facts.

The popularity of the segment, demonstrates the public’s desire for all the facts, as well as the right to form personal opinions, without being swayed by the person delivering the facts.”

In 2007, Condoleezza Rice said, “There is no more important pillar of democracy than a free and active press.”

As journalists we must understand the duty we have to the public to remain unbiased in our portrayal of the news. As viewers we must remain critical of the news presented to us, and continue to express our desire for all the facts in an unbiased fashion.

-Kristin Dornfeld

This entry was posted in Law and ethics, Media Credibility, News coverage, Press Freedom. Bookmark the permalink.

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