As journalists continue to get attacked for releasing “fake news,” I consider it a great responsibility to present the facts. I make sure to fact-check all of my information, eliminate bias to the best of my ability and represent all perspectives. Before even writing my story, I create an outline, detailing the different sources I plan on interviewing and the points of view I plan on highlighting. By following this process, I make sure that I don’t unconsciously insert by personal viewpoints by selectively interviewing sources or cherry-picking information.
As the Editor-in-chief, I also help my staff members to add nuance to their stories by working with them to flesh out the concrete angle for their stories. Whether it’s a news story, a sports story or even an editorial, I do not think a story is complete unless it successfully verifies the information and addresses multiple perspectives.
AMC Cupertino Square 16 closes its doors
After AMC Cupertino Square 16 closed its doors, I wrote a news story about the well-known Cupertino landmark. To fully understand the reason for the closure of the once-popular movie theater, I interviewed Matt Larson, the Director of Public Affairs at Sand Hill Property Company, and Reed Moulds, the Managing Director at Sand Hill Property Company.
I was able to learn about how the declining activity of Vallco Shopping Mall, which is owned by Sand Hill Property Company, was a large factor in AMC closing.
I also learned about Sand Hill Property Company’s future plans, including the reintegration of AMC into the community following the revitalization of Vallco Shopping Mall.
Another key figure I interviewed was Senior Vice President of Domestic Development at AMC, Dan Ellis. Through this interview, I was able to gain insight on the ways Cupertino residents can continue enjoying AMC movie theaters.
For a story I wrote about how one individual can completely change another’s life, I interviewed Psychotherapist and Marriage and Family Therapist Kaltana Asok.
By including her perspective, I was able to understand how one person can have a sizable impact at significant times in one’s life. She explained that this was especially pertinent to teenagers who may not have a role model in their immediate family structure.
Congressman Ro Khanna discusses his policies
When I was invited to interview Congressman Ro Khanna, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents California’s 17th Congressional District, I felt the pressure to present Khanna in a positive light.
However, I recognized that my role as a journalist was not to endorse politicians, but instead to present the facts. In my interview, I made sure not to ask leading questions and chose to remain very neutral.
While writing the story itself, I did not add any adjectives to purposefully promote Khanna. Because I addressed only the facts, I was able to remove bias from my story.
Not the right fit
In order to write my story about students who transfer out of MVHS, I interviewed FUHSD Superintendent Polly Bove to understand the possible reasons for transferring to another school, as well as the process of requesting a transfer.
By interviewing Bove, I learned a lot about how the district handles transfers. Without fact-checking this information, my story would have been incomplete.
In this infographic, I made sure to fact-check all of the information I was presenting by emailing Director of Human Resources Paula Robinson at Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD).
After I contacted Robinson, she redirected me to John Dwyer, another member of the HR Department who oversees the athletic portion of hiring and selection. By reaching out to FUHSD officials, I was able to clarify important details necessary to create my infographic.