Monday, January 24, 2011

Reflection 1—22-Tor Ming En

Based on your understanding of facts and opinions, why do you think this is important for a journalist/reporter in the world of online news reporting?

News reporting is objective, and not subjective. Facts are proven and they are not based on bias; opinions, on the other hand, are not backed by proper evidence and it is often biased towards or against a side. Facts and opinions are important for a reporter in the world of news reporting, as newspapers must refrain from having opinions to make it subjective. News reporting has to be objective as it is trying to present certain information to its readers. There can be opinions, but it must be written as quotes directly or indirectly, such that it is hard to determine whether it is a fact or not.

How can some of the problems raised in the articles be controlled?

One of the problems raised in the articles is to differentiate between facts and opinions, and whether some opinions can actually be backed by facts. By using keys words on the given statements, it can be determined whether the statement consists of facts or opinions, or even both. For example, if we were to use words or phrases like "feel that" or "might", we can identify it as some sort of an opinion. However, if the words or phrases used are a little more assertive like 'will' or 'must', or even 'confirm', then we can consider it as a factual statements.

For example, if the article is on a certain topic like innovation, it is best to get a few points from famous and well-known entrepreneurs, as it may be more realistic, and also based on facts. However, if we were to ask some businessman who is managing a small company for their take on innovation, they might give a different information altogether. Thus, it is important to check the relevancy and consistency of the source, as well as getting facts from people with more experience.

What are some responsibilities of discerning readers?

The discerning readers also have several responsibilities. They should avoid reading news reports that is not accurate, but they should try to read stories that is backed by reliable evidence, so that they will not be mislead by wrong information. The readers must only trust reliable news reports and not those with incorrect information. Since there are many people who are using the Net worldwide, incorrect information without accuracy will become widespread, thus it is important to differentiate between fact and fiction.

According to one website, some hyperlinks might lead readers to offensive and inappropriate news content. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of the readers to monitor the content, as well as the quality of the linked sites, before reading what has been put on it.

The discerning readers must also differentiate between reality or pure fantasy. Some news articles are either fake, or they have sensationalized information that distorts the reality, so as to spice up the report. It is important to triangulate and corroborate, so as to confirm the consistency of the reports on the Net. Sometimes, different reports will have a different take on a similar topic, so it is important to check the relevancy of the source of information.

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