The entire media industry is founded upon the credibility of the information it presents. The responsibility for maintaining that credibility on a daily basis rests with you and your fellow media members. A media or professional organization that acquires a reputation for inaccuracy and sloppy reporting will soon lose its audience. Advertisers and sponsors will exit shortly thereafter, driving the operation out of business. Never forget this connection between credibility, audience, business, and the accuracy of your writing!

 

Journalists must also embrace objectivity and balance, two key characteristics of accuracy. Journalistic objectivity refers to a lack of bias, judgment, or prejudice in reporting, interviewing, and writing. It means that you base your news stories only upon the facts and evidence you have gathered, and that you exclude your personal opinions. Objectivity also refers to being fair, impartial, disinterested, and nonpartisan in your news writing. In order to be as objective as possible, journalists conduct thorough research, reporting, ansd interviews with multiple sources.

 

They attribute all information to sources. Balance, a related concept, means that journalists do not take sides in a news story. They research all sides of an issue, and present the facts and viewpoints in an even manner. This gives the audience the opportunity to hear both sides of the story and reach their own conclusions. Striving for balance also means that you attempt to grasp the relative significance of the news events you are covering, taking care not to overemphasize or underemphasize any one of them in your story.