Bias in Exam Story was Obvious
I was troubled by an article in the Coast Report, “Learning Goes on After the Exam,” because it violated one of the main tenets of journalism: bias should be avoided.
There isn’t a single professor in the article who defends the practice of not returning the exams. Four of the individuals interviewed for the article and quoted in it support the practice of returning exams. Another student didn’t care and a course assistant explained how the scoring machine works.
Aren’t journalists supposed to get both sides of the story? Shouldn’t the journalist have consulted with a professor who doesn’t return exams? Has the journalist failed to report the other side because he is not sympathetic to it? Such an inference is not unreasonable.
One of the professors consulted for the story actually derided other professors who did not return exams. And the journalist irresponsibly allowed him to do so without getting the other side. The reader is left with the impression that professors who don’t return exams are on a “power-trip.”
The journalist even asserts that many students “do not even take notice of a lacking pedagogy.” So professors who don’t return exams are on power trips and don’t know how to teach. I cannot help but conclude the following: either the reporter is unaware of the rules for journalists or ignored them. Perhaps the opinion page would have been a more appropriate place for this article.