Don't Be Stubborn

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"A framing decision is based on values and perspective, not facts. So -- depending on the values and perspective a reporter brings to a particular story -- the story could turn out differently from one written on the same subject by a reporter with different values and perspectives on that subject." - Robert J. Haiman, Best Practices for Newspaper Journalists


This is closely related to a previous chapter in Haiman devoted to fair reporting on the basis of removing negative bias.  It is true that before you research an idea for an article you mentally begin to plot and chart its destination.  Sometimes, that presupposed story you're intent on sharing turns out to be something less wow worthy or insupportable or, simply, not what you expected.  The point is not to force your idea to work.  Whatever investigative reporting should yield is what should be reported, no slant.  Be open to a different ending than the one you were holding out for.  And if it should be unfruitful, be willing to lay it to rest.


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November 2010

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