The urge to get a scoop (be the first to break a news story) has always been present in media operations. However, that need has become even more severe in the internet age where more people than ever have access to a news story.

As a result, it has become a popular occurrence for media outlets to send out stories without fact-checking and balancing. Balancing means giving both sides of the story an equal chance to give their accounts. Even in the age of speedy reporting, all efforts should be made to hear out both parties to a story.

Freelance journalists who post their content on private sites and blogging platforms also need to embrace this practice. It is a simple practice which everyone can master, really. All one needs to do is identify the parties to a story that are on different sides.

From there, the media personality ought to reach out to authority figures from the two sides and inform each one what the other side is saying. From the affected party’s response, one gets in a position to give a balanced story. Sometimes balancing will require making more than just one call to each side.