Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
I had a beautiful, long answer that included everything on the topic. Let me try to crop it.
I'm a business writer and I crop to present a wanted image. Editors want me to show that the emerging markets I cover need proper study or investments are basically doomed, but they also want me to show the opportunities for those who do their homework. It fits my basic message - Eastern Europe is worthwhile for those with a capacity for attention to detail.
They don't want to know that I'm sure the Transport Minister I just interviewed is a regional hoodlum with blood on his hands and a need to dominate everyone to cover his Soviet-era psychological scars. So I crop out that part, important as it is.
Judgement calls, such as 'that Holga is too expensive', 'that Holga is priced just right' or 'Lower Slobovia has too many problems to be a good investment site' is something I show as someone else's opinion, and I quote them. And if I can find a contrary opinion, I include it. Whether the topic is Azerbaijan or a employment for expats, or an anti-(name your favorite dictator here) news service, if there's a possible slant, I try to agree with the editor on the direction I'm taking before I start. It eliminates surprises, and sometimes is what convinces the editor to go ahead with the assignment.
Just wait until I cover foreign trade in Belarus this summer!
There's a difference between outright lies such as "The new for 2006 Burke & James D-Grover will always give you fantastic results" and showing a facet of a story, which involves editing to fit a complete picture into 1200 or 2000 words. I have turned down work that I thought was aggressively partisan.
In the end, I try to hold to 'the truth and nothing but the truth (with opinions shown as such)' and leave 'the whole truth' for another day.