As a news organization, I think Annenberg Media makes a solid effort at being sensitive to people of different backgrounds and experiences. Especially as producers, it’s important that our coverage tells all sides of the story as it keeps the news factual and fair. This generally results in an awareness of people from all walks of life.
However, that’s not to say we’re perfect. The stress of making deadline or crafting an interesting story can make our coverage insensitive to certain groups of people. This happened on my executive producing day this week when one of our reporters came back from a protest in downtown Los Angeles. Organizers were demonstrating against a plan to renovate two jails in Los Angeles County. The protest was controversial since many community members and police officers saw these changes as a positive since it was intended to improve the living standards of prison inmates. Our reporter was so caught up with the protesters and getting good sound and video from the event going on that it never crossed her mind to get the other side of the story. This was problematic since the story was surrounded by controversy. If we would have aired the segment without being sensitive to both sides, it would have been a biased piece instead of a news segment on what’s going on in the community. This attention to fairness isn’t only on the reporter alone; producers and multimedia journalists have to be aware of the different sides of any story to ensure our news organization remains unbiased and balanced. It’s essential to remember everyone has a different thought process and view on a specific issue and it’s important that we’re representing that in our coverage.