Can’t please everybody

As a journalist, your job is to report the facts and give respective sides a chance to give their thoughts and opinions. Back in 2004, for example, I wrote a news-feature about a Texas man who needed another kidney. He’ d received a transplant years before but due to complications from a congenital kidney disease, he was in need of another one. His insurance wouldn’t cover it, and he didn’t have the money to cover the out-of-pocket costs. He conceded to me that he would possibly die before being able to afford the operation.

A sad story, but I still felt obligated to get the insurance company’s side. When you tell them you’re a journalist and what you’re working on and how you’d like to give them the chance to explain themselves in print, you’d be amazed at how fast they can have one of their fine people in public relations to contact you. (Not a knock against the company, mind you, just a fact of life). They told me they sympathized with the man but how if their company covered these types of procedures for those who didn’t have the proper insurance, before long they’d go bankrupt. In other words, there are only so many lifelines you can toss out before the ship starts to sink from the weight of those clinging to the life preservers.

Overall, I’ve found people appreciate a sense of balance. But it won’t please everybody, and no matter how hard you try, someone’s bound to be upset. You just have to roll with the punches and do your job.

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