For more accurate stories, seek diverse perspectives.
We tell stronger, better-informed stories when we sample a variety of perspectives on what we’re covering. The best reporting draws on the experiences of experts, influential figures and laypeople from across the demographic spectrum.
A story could accurately claim, for example, that unemployment in the Washington, D.C., metro area in the fall of 2011 was quite a bit lower than the national average. But that fact would probably ring false to a resident of the city proper, where the unemployment rate was considerably higher at the time. And such a story would describe a world vastly different from D.C.’s Ward 8, which had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Any of these vantage points could make for a technically accurate story. But drawing on all of them allows for a much more nuanced report. Means and medians can be informative, but true insight often comes from surveying experiences all along the spectrum.
December 7, 2011