Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

Who Hates You Baby?

Posted October 24, 2006 12:46 p.m. EDT

If you're old enough you may remember the line: "Who loves you baby?" from Kojak. In journalism it might as well be the opposite saying: "Who hates you baby?" As I sit here waiting to do yet another possibly uncomfortable interview I am reminded of one of my first news directors who said: "If you're making people on both sides of the aisle mad then you're doing your job."

In some ways by definition news is conflict. If there wasn't conflict than we wouldn't have a lot to talk about. For example: "Good evening, it's a beautiful day and nothing happened." I think most people would turn the channel.

The real challenge is to deal with conflict in a way that is fair and accurate and allows the viewer to draw conclusions. Clearly, the way we write and edit a story can impact how it it received. but we must strive for the best balance possible so that at the end of the day the viewer doesn't know where the reporter stands on the issue. Because at the end of the day it doesn't matter what the reporter thinks; it matters what you think.

About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.