At Fox 4, we know how important it is for you to turn on the news, and get the facts, so you have the information you need to make the big decisions for you and your family. We also know not all information is created equal. That's why news literacy is so important.
E.W. Scripps, the company that owns Fox 4, has partnered with the News Literacy Project, a non-partisan education non-profit, for "National News Literacy Week," so we can give you the tools to determine what information you should trust, and base your decisions on.
During this particularly divisive time in our country, this is even more important; you want your information with no agenda, no slant, and no hidden message. So we want to explain to you how all of us at Fox 4 focus on the facts, and bring you all perspectives. We want to show you how we remain unbiased, and how we carefully consider how we cover stories, to give equal time to opposing voices.
Whether it's a story about crime, protecting our paradise, a tight presidential race, or anything in between, Fox 4 is focused on the truth.
"Everything we do, every story we tell here at Fox 4, we want to start with the facts and the truth, and concentrate on that. And if there's a difference of opinions, we want to try to get as many of those different opinions as possible," Fox 4 Morning News Anchor Chris Shaw said.
All newsroom employees follow strict guidelines when it comes to what we put on air. Each person you see on our channel has gone to school, taken ethics courses, gotten a degree, and gone through specific training to become a journalist.
"And that's what we are, no matter what you may think, or what we look like, or anything like that. All of us here are journalists, so we have been trained on how to tell a story the right way," Chris said.
A big part of our training is following Scripps' Journalism Ethics Guidelines, which focus on:
- Honesty: being transparent about how we gather our news, and how and where we get our information. Editing to preserve the integrity of the story.
- Fairness: reporting the facts without personal opinions, choosing words wisely, and seeking insightful perspectives from multiple angles.
By focusing on these guidelines, Fox 4 can remain an unbiased news source. Fox 4 Reporter Rochelle Alleyne explains how she remains unbiased perfectly.
"I acknowledge my bias," Rochelle said. "We all have opinions about every single thing because we're humans. Our job just asks of us to put those opinions aside, and make sure we see everything from both sides."
When reporting a story, Rochelle says first, she first checks her own bias.
"I'm like, 'Do I have any biases that might influence how I tell the story?' From the start, I ask myself that question. I'll talk to my producer and say, 'Hey, I'm seeing the story from one lens, because this is the perspective I come from. But am I missing something? Is there something else I should be adding? Is there another voice I should be adding?'" she said.
"It's important for people to know that the individuals, the management here at Fox 4, the corporation that owns us, there's no agenda. There is no thing that we're trying to push on our viewers. We are just trying to tell what's going on in our area, and we're trying to represent the people in our area," Chris said.
All of us bringing you the news here at Fox 4, have one purpose.
"To shed light on issues that are happening in my community because I care about Southwest Florida. And I give voices to those who don't have voices otherwise. That's my mission. That's what I do as a journalist," Rochelle said.
If you have questions about how we do what we do as journalists, ask us! All of us are happy to pull back the veil on what we do, to help you understand how this process actually works. You can email us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.