*This article was written and edited by Tracey Spicer’s mentee Lucy Xu


There seems to be this universal notion that journalism equals objectivity. For sure, journalists report on facts. Their primary job is to communicate complex topics based on real evidence to an audience. However, every single article, video, photo, and all existing mediums journalism can manifest is produced by humans, and what are humans most prone towards? Their biases. 

People always like to imagine that journalists are unbiased, reporting nothing but the truth. While that is a great idea, in practice, is it much more difficult to achieve. Look at all of the new outlets available, and it’s easy to spot which ones have been making an effort to hide their bias. As humans, we make choices based on our points of view – from choosing what words to use in the headline to what frame to crop an image. Journalists will never be neutral.

While objectivity is an attractive theory, it is a myth. What is not a myth though – and perhaps this is where people are getting confused – is fairness. 

Journalists are privileged to be given a position to gather stories, information, facts, assets, talents, all set up to report on the subject in a holistic way. So while it is impossible to be objective, what we can do is to be generous to the other perspective and the opponent’s argument. 

The demand has been growing to see more agencies that care about removing their biases. Better yet, to report with fewer biases, more fairness, while being clear and assertive about the facts. It’s a tough job to balance, but achievable nonetheless.

Here, we have gathered some tricks from reporters around the world that helped them to remove biases from their writing.

Starting with the Facts

Even the core concept of an article can be riddled with bias. A journalist takes an idea, which in itself is usually leaning one way or the other. The best way to help mitigate bias and avoid confirmation bias is to know what the research is saying.

That is to say, don’t just look for data that conforms to the article’s idea. Research on both sides of the subject will help eliminate bias in the long run and benefit from creating a stronger argument.


Fact-checking is the second natural step in checking for biases. It’s something that any good journalist is already passionate about, but it’s still worth mentioning. Fact-checking helps to ensure the accuracy of an article, which helps eliminate the writer’s bias. 

Providing fair and accurate information is an essential part of investigative journalism. Without it, a writer’s bias is clear to all readers.

Identify Potential Points of Bias in an Article

When starting a new article, it’s essential to ask yourself a few basic questions. What sort of biases might be reflected within the report? Should they be mentioned or avoided? How can you work to remove or negate them? Most importantly, a reporter should ask themselves if they lack vital context or understanding of the subject matter. It’s much easier to spot when an opinion has taken control of the narrative than letting another’s opinion shape understanding.

Peer Editing

Having another journalist or editor proofread your article is an excellent way to help check against bias. Having your article peer-reviewed can help in several different ways.

When edits are suggested – don’t brush them off. Your peers likely have a good reason for voicing their concerns, and it’s worth looking into, especially when it comes to addressing biases. 

Leaving Room for Argument

Journalist Jason Grotto made an excellent point when they said that anyone covered in a story should get a chance to respond. When an article is covering a specific person or business, approach them before the article runs. Provide them with all of the evidence available, your take on the matter, and see how they respond.

Not only will this give them a chance to refute those facts, but it can potentially open doors that are closed later. If the article is a negative piece about that person, the odds are more than good that they will not agree to an interview once the article has been published.

This article was originally published on TraceySpicer.co