Beat from the Editor’s Seat: News coverage that provides insights on all sides of the issue

Imagine a world without opinion: a world in which indifference dominates. An all-fact, no-emotion kind of world – remember The Giver? Said world, if we’re all on the same page, is undesirable. That world is not our world.

Feelings exist, emotions can lead and facts are sometimes disregarded, allowing beliefs and morals to take their place.

The Lamron’s intent is to provide Geneseo and the surrounding community with accurate information retrieved through thorough investigative interviews, observation and experience. This information is put onto paper to provide a clear story that represents all situational factors including context, perspectives, emotions and – most importantly – opposing opinions.

Thus the question arises: How do we convey objective information to our audience?

As reporters, we look at situations from the outside, while removing ourselves from political and social roles and groups with whom we identify; we strip ourselves of our democratic, republican, liberal, conservative, moderate, activist beliefs momentarily to objectivity our experience.

Common courtesy is expected from all news sources. Subjectivity remains inevitable, nonetheless, as we often see skewed stories – even from the most respected newspapers – littered with biased views and feelings galore.

That said, we shape our findings as objectively as possible. We know, however, that objectivism is nearly impossible when presenting secondhand information. It’s a challenge that we work with on a daily basis, but we pride ourselves on a news section that, above all things, aims to favor neutral settings and standards of impartiality.

We edit down to the last emotion. Word choice is especially indicative: We prefer “she said” to “she exclaimed” to eliminate any assumptions that can arise concerning the woman’s feelings concerning her statement. A tedious but necessary stride of caution, we examine articles down to each minute detail.

By implying that all opinions of a news article are through the speakers’ lenses only, rather than our own, we save ourselves from attributing emotion, a faux pas that can risk credibility for not only the writer, but for the newspaper as a whole – or the editor-in-chief, if she’s lucky enough.

Presenting both and all narratives, we serve as an exploration of opposing views – otherwise we would not be a newspaper. We serve as a source of rich and credible information, but we do not serve as promoters and advertisers.

We are information gatherers and providers with a debt to the community that holds us accountable for producing all sides of a story. It’s an enforced and upheld obligation that sets a standard we find to be quite attainable.