The press and journalist are continuously bombarded by the public as being unfair and one sided. However this perception of journalism was not always negative. According to the analysis of Robert J Haiman the issue of fairness in press was not an issue before the 1900’s. However in January of 1936 a survey was taking regarding the standards of journalism.
While journalists have a tendency to focus on the negative of news I was surprised to find that the issue of fairness in journalism stemmed to back in the 1930’s. According to the survey taking in 1936 42% of people believed that the press and journalist abused their power. I believe that the press’s bad reputation is I due part to journalist’s persistence to chase a story when there is no story, While being persistent is part of being a journalist, one cannot begin to create a story when there is no story by taking a few quotes from people. Picking at a person’s words does not make a fair and true story, but instead creates a gap between the public and the press.
The question becomes what does it mean to be fair and unfair in journalistic writing. This is problem that cannot be easily solved due to the various different types of journalism, and wide array of stories written. With different types writing comes a need for a different perspective and attitude toward a story. However no matter what the writing the purpose should not be to bash the person or group in the story.
Fairness is important in journalism because foremost a newspaper’s audience is the people of the public and if the public believes a paper is unfair they will not continue to read that particular paper. Also if a paper has a reputation of being unfair it may become extremely difficult for them to get interviews for their stories.