Given the current debate about public-employee benefits, I think it’s important for journalists to traffic in facts, not just rhetoric. If you are writing a piece that includes arguments about teacher pensions, for example, give some numbers to show what those pensions look like. A friend of mine worked for 19 years in a school system in one of the nation’s most affluent counties; his monthly pension is $907. Is that low? Is that high?
What about other benefits for educators? What do their health plans look like exactly? What do they get to negotiate for in collective bargaining besides wages and benefits? What exactly does “summers off” mean?
Readers can judge for themselves, if we give them the tools with which to do so. With all of this stuff being hotly contested, it is important to provide as many specifics as you can.