It is a journalist’s job to objectively and fairly represent the various perspectives on an issue, and it’s a journalist’s responsibility to report facts to represent an issue as accurately as possible.
What happens when these two ethical obligations appear to conflict? Ideally, the seasoned journalist takes a step back to assess how the facts influence the balance a story should receive. When this doesn’t happen, a story runs the risk of having false balance — something even stories relying on scientific evidence (sometimes especially stories relying on scientific evidence) can fall victim to. Continue reading