Journalism and balance

A lot has been written about the journalistic epistemology of balance. Everyone generally accepts that journalism is balanced; there is some discussion as to whether this metaphor limits reporting to black-and-white reporting of (only) two sides.

Ahem: if I may: there’s something about balance in Journalism and the Political: Discursive tensions in news coverage of Russia. Due out on 15. Feb.

But this week I have the delightful opportunity to observe the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ). And today I see a strangely unbalanced news story: Mehr Schaden als am 1. Mai. Not entirely a SZ story, it’s actually a story written up from AFP and dpa. Nevertheless.

It reports on the 2500 police officers (!) who were required in order to evict the tenants of a housing project in Berlin. It quotes the police president Dieter Glietsch. And it quotes the police president Dieter Glietsch. It balances this with some comments from the police president Dieter Glietsch. No comments from the demonstrators who turned out in support of the housing project. Nor from any passersby, the tenants themselves. Not even other reporters.

For some balance, check the Gentrification blog’s story – includes a short video sequence from mainstream television news, which points out that not only “leftist extremists” (SZ) were valdalising the area, but that “normal citizens” (Tagesthemen) had turned out in support of the housing project.

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One Comment to “Journalism and balance”

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