Great article about how veteran journalists are biased by groupthink and preconceived notions:
There is always a tension, as a journalist, between asking open-ended questions that allow an interview subject to explain something and pressing or challenging them on accuracy or details. But if you think you already know the subject, or already have a story angle half-formed in your head, it’s easy to overlook the first part.
The journalists at the press conference didn’t have a bias as the term is normally used; that is, I didn’t get the sense that they were inherently for or against the company or its product. They just appeared to think they knew the subject well enough, or had a set enough idea in their heads as to what this kind of story was about, that they pursued only the lines of questioning necessary to fill in the blanks of that presumed story line. As a result, they left the press conference with less knowledge and understanding than they otherwise might have had. And while nobody could have said the resulting stories were entirely wrong, they definitely suffered from that lapse. Especially, as might be expected, when it came to the predictions they made about the product’s evolution or future.
The author suggests rotating veteran journalists off of their assigned beats so that they don’t become too familiar with their subjects — and thus, stop asking the basic questions. Great idea.