Overcoming Bias : A Journalist's Guide to Culture & Context book cover
2nd Edition

Overcoming Bias
A Journalist's Guide to Culture & Context

ISBN 9780367366957
Published June 29, 2021 by Routledge
316 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In this practical and engaging new edition, experienced reporter and teacher Sue Ellen Christian offers a fully updated and fresh take on reporting without bias, examining the way that we categorize people, filter information and default to rehearsed ways of thinking.

This book is about biases that affect journalism at every stage of reporting and writing. Included throughout are stories and advice from working reporters and editors, providing real-world voices and experiences, and covering questions of culture, stereotyping, sources, writing, editing, visuals and reflective practice. This advice and guidance is coupled with practical exercises that give readers the chance to apply what they learn. Christian provides a career-long foundation for those looking to edit their thinking and to champion a more inclusive and open-minded approach to coverage of our multicultural society.

Offering a concise, readable and highly applicable guide to managing coverage of contemporary social issues, this book is an ideal resource for undergraduate and graduate students of journalism and early career journalists.

Table of Contents

1. Context, Culture and Cognition: Making the case for reflective practice in journalism 2. Habits of Thought: How cognitive processes influence journalistic practice 3. Encountering the News: How the mind organizes and interprets information—and how story ideas get lost in the process 4. Story Without Stereotype: How stereotypes may influence reporting in stealthy ways—and what to do about it 5. Understanding Culture, Understanding Sources: How social groups serve as lenses for looking at the world 6. Training the Reporter’s Eye: What attracts journalists’ attention can influence how they portray events and explain behaviors 7. Critical Decisions Before Deadline: Why even experienced journalists neglect certain facts and what to do about it 8. The Power of Words and Tone: When words suggest unintended meanings 9. Attribution, Images and Editing Without Bias: When to include data, what images communicate and how to determine cause 10. Addressing Negativity: How to Manage Hate Speech, Hostile Sources and Misinformation 11. Journalism and Reflective Practice: Cultivating an open mind

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Sue Ellen Christian is a Professor of Communication at Western Michigan University. She was the 2016 Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year and has received the highest honor for teaching from her institution. She is an award-winning former Chicago Tribune staff writer and the author of Everyday Media Literacy: An Analog Guide for Your Digital Life (2019).