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Times Writer on Staying Fair

New York Times Magazine contributing writer Ruth Padawer visited Prof. Pam Frederick’s News Literacy class recently and offered insights about bias, fairness and putting aside your own opinion when writing a story.

Padawer, whose stories such as “The Humiliating Practice of Sex-Testing Athletes” and “Men at Wellesley,” (the cover story of which is pictured at right) strike to the core of both deeply personal and universal narratives, said she spends more time drafting her questions — and follow up questions — than she does actually interviewing her subjects.

She told students she then drills deep, questioning not only her subjects but her own assumptions. “All the time I am asking about my own work, ‘How do I know that’s true?’ ” she told the class. “I’m like a broken record. I repeat it over and over.”

 

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