Friday, May 11, 2012

Fact or Fiction

I'm sure anyone who has ever done research on any subject - for a personal interest, a college paper, or for a book you're working on - has come across bias information. And, I'm sure you've found it as frustrating as I do.

As fiction writers, we expect to put our own 'spin' on the information we dig up. It's what we do. It's call writing 'fiction'! What I'm having a problem is reference material supposedly written by journalists, but tainted by the authors own prejudices.

There is a distinct difference between reporting information and editorializing about it. At least there should be. Unfortunately, in this age of video magazines, electronic journalism and YouTube, the line - which has been eroding over the last several decades - seems to have evaporated completely.

A journalist's job is to report the facts. They are not supposed to comment on them. They aren't supposed to include undocumented things. Equally, they aren't supposed to leave out facts.

It's what Joe Friday said in Dragnet, 'All we want is the facts, ma'am.'

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