In my Charter Schools Investigation series I tried to present the information I had gained in a factual and balanced way. I did not want my articles to become opinion pieces so I avoided using these common journalistic techniques.
Slant a sentence of fact by adding in an adjective.
a) The student slouched in his chair as he told me how much he enjoyed P.E
b) The student was relaxed as he told me how much he enjoyed P.E
Omit information that will not support my opinion.
a) I spoke to a student who had been bullied at the school and was not happy with how long it took to resolve the issue.
b) I spoke to a number of students who all said that they have never seen any bullying at the school and that there are severe consequences for anyone who is a bully.
Ask questions that are likely to get an answer that will back up my opinion and avoid asking questions that may get answers detrimental to my opinion.
a) Tell me about your school’s NCEA results and how they compare to School X.
Seek out people for comment who will discredit any positive facts revealed by your investigation.
“Over time those results wither away and in many unfortunate circumstances the Government is forced to pick up the pieces and re-integrate those kids back into the state system,” says New Zealand Education Institute national secretary Paul Goulter.
So now that you are aware of the many ways in which a journalist can attempt to slant an article here is my Opinion piece on Charter Schools.
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