Saturday, December 18, 2004

One Side of the Story

I meant to link to this and forgot. The Advice Goddess has the story of a North Carolina Christian school teaching children about the other side of slavery:

Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence.


In the words of one of the parents whose children attend the school:

"They really do get both sides of the story,".... "In public schools, all they get is one side of the story. That's not education. That's indoctrination."


Except, sometimes (most times, in medicine), there's just one side to a story.

And speaking of medicine, I think the main problem health reporters/editors have is according belief and evidence an equal footing. Chris Mooney writes (via ms.musings):

The basic notion that journalists should go beyond mere "balance" in search of the actual truth hardly represents a novel insight. This magazine, along with its political Web site, Campaign Desk, has been part of a rising chorus against a prevalent but lazy form of journalism that makes no attempt to dig beneath competing claims. But for journalists raised on objectivity and tempered by accusations of bias, knowing that phony balance can create distortion is one thing and taking steps to fix the reporting is another.


Bottom line: When it comes to health reporting, the aim should be getting the accurate side of the story. Nothing more, nothing less.

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