Reporting on Child Welfare and Adoption Policies
Bartholet, Elizabeth, Nieman Reports
An author and advocate contends that journalists are missing the story.
As an academic interested in social reform, I appreciate both the media's power to influence change and the complexity of their role in reporting on tough policy issues. This appreciation is something I've gained during the past decade as I've talked with a lot of members of the print and broadcast press in my efforts to promote changes in child welfare policy. Reporters often call me for comment when stories relevant to my work emerge in the news, and I have chosen to respond to their inquiries and to engage in ongoing public debates about the issues I care about. Despite the occasional frustration I experience when I read, see or hear the product of our conversations, it's important to me to continue to work with members of the media. I know that significant changes in public policy occur only when there are fundamental shifts in the mindset of policymakers and the broader public. I also recognize the unique and critical capacity of the press to inform and educate each of these audiences.
In general, I have been impressed by the commitment of many of the reporters I have dealt with over the years to delve deeply into the issues and to wield responsibly their considerable power to shape public opinion. I am fully aware that reporters should not "take sides," but instead should gather the facts and report them fairly, giving those in their audience the opportunity to assess for …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Reporting on Child Welfare and Adoption Policies. Contributors: Bartholet, Elizabeth - Author. Magazine title: Nieman Reports. Volume: 53. Issue: 3 Publication date: Fall 1999. Page number: 74. © 1999 Harvard University, Nieman Foundation. COPYRIGHT 1999 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.