Facts are Pieces, Truth is the Completed Puzzle

Factual news is not true if it is presented in false light.

In Edwards v. National Audubon Society (1976), a group of scientists has special interest in a pesticide company. In their research, they cited the Audubon Society’s own findings, saying their data “shows steady increase in bird sightings despite the growing number of pesticides in the last thirty years.”

While it is a fact bird sighting may have increased, it is not necessarily true that birds have increased, according to the Society, which says the statistics are presented in a false light.

Reporters should always share what they know to be true. They don’t have to come out and say the accuser is wrong or lying, however they should present both sides of the story so the reader can determine where the truth lies.

Democracy thrives on an objective truth. If ethics is what keeps the social contract theory together, it is for the good of everyone that a journalist reports objective truth. Facts can be misleading. False light is just as bad as lying.

SOURCES: Wikipedia: “Neutral Reportage,” “Edwards v. National Audubon Society,” law.justia.com


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