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Balance Interview

As a rule of thumb, journalists make a genuine effort to report all sides of a story. So if you’ve interviewed a proponent of a measure, it’s crucial to your credibility to talk to people with other points of view. And it makes for a better story to include information from those who see some merits in both positions and to report the common ground that is shared by people who might be considered opponents.

One way to ensure you are giving voice to all viewpoints is to map out a list of those who would be affected and then reach out to people who belong to the various stakeholder groups.

Showing the contrasting points of view can help your readers understand the multifaceted nature of an issue. For things like town legislative matters, your readers will benefit from knowing the pros and cons as told by those passionate about the topic. And if an individual or group feels that their voice was unfairly left out of a story, you can develop their input into follow-up stories.

Presenting fair and balanced information in your articles is one of the core values of good journalism. Read more about how fairness and balance apply to journalism ethics here.

Sample Script:

“We’re doing a story on the city’s plans to convert a ball field to a new town house development. What do you think of these plans? Who else should I talk to who has a viewpoint on this?”

1. Newsgathering Interview
2. Confirmation Interview
3. Reaction Interview
4. Person-on-the-street Interview
5. Experts Interview
6. Balance Interview
7. Q & A Interview
8. Advance Interview
9. In-depth Interview
10. Gotcha Interview

Next Section (Q&A Interview)

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