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On transparency, objectivity and false balance

"If 'impartiality' means an even split between opposing beliefs in every article, the concept deserves to be tossed out. Get at the truth, above all. But getting at the truth can require setting aside personal views to evaluate evidence fairly. If that’s impartiality, it remains not only worthwhile but crucially necessary."-NYT Public Editor Margaret Sullivan

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/public-editor/when-reporters-get-personal.html?_r=0&pagewanted=all

I wonder if, in the years ahead, more editors and reporters will try approaching #journalism using something akin to the scientific method, sharing their underlying hypothesis, method, data, results & conclusion.

cc +Mathew Ingram +Matt Thompson 
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7 comments
 
In addition to opposing beliefs it's important see "opposing facts"--those supporting multiple sides. Analysis of the jobs report is a monthly example of where this is done poorly.
 
As for scientific method in journalism? YES, PLEASE! Science works very well on the hypothesis > experiment > peer review > experiment validation > theory model. While "experiements" don't necessarily translate well to classic journalism, the overall approach ("I think this is what we know, but let's go look at it together with a critical eye") would do a lot to restore trust in the practice of journalism.
 
Yes, I've been saying this for years. Good journalism is very similar to science.
 
+Jed Sundwall I especially like the idea that journalists and readers are on "equal footing." Because they are. Journalists are, theoretically, just people with more time to dig into a subject than I have, and are theoretically good writers / media creators. Their improved "access" to information, compared to me, is a function of time and possibly innate interest, not intelligence.
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