NPR has recently came out with a new journalism handbook to help focus their reporting. Here is a quote from the new handbook.
“In all our stories, especially matters of controversy, we strive to consider the strongest arguments we can find on all sides, seeking to deliver both nuance and clarity. Our goal is not to please those whom we report on or to produce stories that create the appearance of balance, but to seek the truth.”
Previously, NPR tried to express the varying view points on any given topic without lending support for either side. In other words, they tried to be neutral in their topical coverage. This has not changed so much, except now they are focusing more on the truth.
“At all times, we report for our readers and listeners, not our sources. So our primary consideration when presenting the news is that we are fair to the truth. If our sources try to mislead us or put a false spin on the information they give us, we tell our audience. If the balance of evidence in a matter of controversy weighs heavily on one side, we acknowledge it in our reports. We strive to give our audience confidence that all sides have been considered and represented fairly.”
Kudos to NPR for recognizing a serious issue in journalism today and trying to do something about it. It has frustrated me to no end how most of the major news sources are more concerned about offending one side or another than they are about reporting the truth. If there are two or more sides to a story it is great to report all of them. But if some of the points are dishonest / lack truth / are not based in reality, it is the duty of the good journalist to call that out.
Lets call out people for being blatantly dishonest and see what happens. I don’t think that it could harm our political discourse.
You can find some more details on the handbook and its influence on NPR reporting in the below links.