Chapter 1 offers a definition of journalistic bias that is probably different from any you have read elsewhere. How well does this definition match what you see in the news?
The text states that “its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.” I do not watch or read the news very often as I do not have television or a computer; however, the few times I have read up on a news worthy item, I have noticed that the news does exactly that. The story is told, but depending on where the story is told (The Rolling Stone compared to Fox News) it will urge the reader to believe one way or the other.
Imagine that you are a reporter pursuing a story about the death of a child after an apparently simple operation at a local hospital. You establish that the incident happened, and you confirm enough details for a story. You are unable to learn the name of the surgeon who performed the operation, but you do learn the name of the nurse who was responsible for postoperative care and who was on duty when the child died. You also learn the nurse was transferred to another job immediately after the death, However, no one will say whether the transfer was relation to the incident. Would it be fair to publish the name of the nurse? In one or two paragraphs, state and explain your response.
First of all, I do not think this story should be printed in the first place. Unless this has happened a few times and a pattern is forming, there is no reason the entire public needs to know this story. That being said, I do not think the name of the nurses should be print because it is not known if they had any control over the death and because the surgeon’s name is not yet known. As a follow up story, once more information is known, the nurses’ names can be printed. There is no reason to bring their careers to an end when there is no information on their part in the misfortune.