On High School Debate And Bias In Journalism

"Journalists should recalibrate themselves to be more skeptical of the consensus of their peers."  -Nate Silver, fivethirtyeight.com

This article raises a lot of great points. You can't grow as a writer or journalist if your position isn't constantly being challenged. Fortunately, as someone who identifies center-right, I'm constantly challenged on what I write by both editors and readers. It keeps me sharp and I see my abilities constantly improving because of it. Unfortunately for many of my peers, if you are hard right or hard left you will never be challenged depending on who you write for. Because of that, they likely fall into the same echo chamber trap that this article refers to. 

One of the most valuable things I have ever done as it pertains to my current career was be on the debate/extemp team in high school. You never knew which side of an issue you would be arguing, so you had to prepare evidence and positions for both the pro and con side of every issue. In debates, this meant that you would often times find yourself arguing a position you didn't personally agree with. I had to learn to throw bias out the window if I wanted to succeed. I carry that lesson with me to this day, as I approach every topic individually and as if I would have to defend either side. I have my high school debate team to thank for that.

Huron High School Debate Team in 2005.

Huron High School Debate Team in 2005.

Marty Skovlund, Jr.