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News Literacy Week: How our Reporters balance perspectives in news stories

Fox 4 & E.W. Scripps celebrate "News Literacy Week"
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News Literacy Week: How our Reporters balance perspectives in news stories
Posted at 7:09 AM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 07:10:01-05

At Fox 4, we know how important it is for you to trust us, and the news we give you. We know not all information is created equal, and we want to help you wade through it all to get to the facts.

Because news literacy is so important, E.W. Scripps, which owns Fox 4, has partnered with the News Literacy Project -- a non-partisan education non-profit -- to give you the tools you need to determine what information you should trust and base your decisions on. This is part of our "News Literacy Week."

To prove Fox 4 is a station you can depend on, we're showing you how our reporters bring you a story; how they balance all perspectives, decipher the facts, and remain unbiased.

On January 6, 2021, our country watched as a group of people broke into our nation's capitol by shattering windows and breaking down doors. Every TV news station in America, including Fox 4, had to make difficult decisions on how to cover this unprecedented story and everything that happened next.

"When you see those kind of images, it obviously riles up some kind of emotional response, no matter what side you're on, right?" Fox 4 Reporter Rochelle Alleyne said.

Rochelle was tasked with reporting on the aftermath of those capitol riots, and the overflow of questions Fox 4 received about the police response, including why it appeared to be different than the way police handled the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.

"Sometimes the images that you see don't tell the full story, right? And so we were seeing these videos, and a lot of these were taken from personal cell phones. But what if there were other things I didn't see? What am I missing? What's happening outside the the camera frame that maybe I'm missing?" Rochelle said.

After asking herself that question, Rochelle said her next step was to figure out who to interview to get both sides of the story. She reached out to Chantel Rhodes, a community activist who organized several Black Lives Matter protests in Southwest Florida. For the other perspective, Rochelle interviewed Dr. David Thomas, a retired police officer of 20 years, who now teaches Forensic Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University.

"I wanted to ask him, 'When you see videos like these, as somebody who has worked in policing, were {the officers} unprepared? Or were there things that maybe me as a viewer, who doesn't know that world, is missing?' And that's kind of how I approached that story," Rochelle said.

"When you see images like that, it's going to bring up emotions. Yes, we feel those emotions, because we're human, but it's part of our job to dig through those emotions, and make sure that everybody who's touched by the story, who's involved in the story, is able to have their side heard," Rochelle said.

If you have questions about how we approach stories at Fox 4, you can email us at news@fox4now.com, or send us a message on Facebook.