Anybody who has been close to a news story knows that “news judgments” are often wrong. Making news judgments more explicit might be a step toward making them better. The April 9th incident Dr. David Dao being dragged off a full United flight holds key lessons about news judgment.
Conclusion First: Bottom Line Up-Front
Current norms of journalism leave news consumers guessing whether outright omissions and varying weightings of facts are deliberate and motivated by reason, deliberate and motivated by an interest in spin, or not deliberate and simply reflecting ignorance. This problem is especially evident when big stories like "United Breaks Heads" are breaking. Consumers could be better served by journalism that tells them the reporter’s conclusion up-front followed by supporting details and links to the depth of the journalist’s background work.