Our editors & readers talk
Keeping the emotion out of it
News is about real people, real issues, real money and real lives.
News is about history, and about how history – and different views of history – impact the present.
Readers of news services, including those of Reuters News, have strong views and often emotional views about how we cover stories that either directly affect their lives or their emotions.Every year brings to the headlines stories that have the power to stir bitter feelings.
Our job as journalists is to keep the emotion out of it, to strive for objectivity, to strive to be free from bias, to strive to tell the story as it is.
This year one important story that has polarized readers has been Tibet and the violence there involving Tibetans, ethnic Chinese and the Chinese authorities.
Our job as journalists is not to take sides. Our job is not to say who is right and who is wrong. Our job is to report as quickly, clearly and accurately as possible so that readers can make up their own minds and to let the facts – and the protagonists – speak for themselves.
This is particularly difficult in a story like Tibet were we have been restricted from reporting as freely as we believe is necessary. Our reporting has had to rely on sources, eyewitnesses, official accounts and documentary evidence.
Where we cannot count bodies ourselves, we must report on conflicting accounts of casualties. Where we cannot observe events ourselves, we must evaluate and triangulate eyewitness reports.
Our China bureau is staffed with men and women with expertise in the region who, like all the journalists in Reuters News, subscribe to the Trust Principles that bind all of Thomson Reuters and that ensure we report the news independently, accurately and free from bias.
REUTERS photo by Stefan Wermuth