Avoiding bias in journalism

When writing an article, I write with an open mind. Most of the events and organizations that I cover focus on positive things, so there are no true negative feelings within my stories.

However, this mindset did not occur last year when I was covering the Planned Parenthood protests. My article was biased towards Planned Parenthood, and I discussed how important it was to keep the non-profit in our communities. During the protest, I didn’t talk to the side that was against Planned Parenthood. This showed where my bias was placed, favoring Planned Parenthood and not acknowledging the opposing side.

The publication that I was working for at the time also accidentally published it before editing it. So not only was it biased towards one side, but it hadn’t been cleared by anyone.

Since this incident, I have been very careful about what I write and to make sure that it is not biased. The journalism career field does not accept bias, because as a journalist, you are supposed to tell the story through someone else’s perspective.

It was a true learning experience for me, and it definitely placed fear within myself. Knowing that an issue like this can get you shamed by other journalists and the public is a scary thing.

Author: Chanel

Chanel Stitt is a Journalist at the University of Michigan - Dearborn working towards her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, minoring in Women's and Gender Studies with a Certificate in Public Relations. She has worked at five local publications based in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Detroit.

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