Monday, January 24, 2011

Reflection 1 - Cheng Ngee

Facts are information that can be proven scientifically or otherwise, and opinions are simply someone's point of view of a subject. The difference between the two is very slight, and can be hard to pinpoint sometimes. In the world of online news reporting, having opinions in articles can be a disaster for the reporter, as online news reporting basically reaches out to the whole world. If there are opinions in the article, it could cause many complications for the reporter, as it may offend readers, resulting in cases where the writer of the article is sued. Since it is accessible for people all round the world, serious mistakes may occur where governments get involved, and then not just the writer will be in trouble, the country where the article came from may get involved and some serious trouble will commence.
Prevention is possible, as editors are present, and as mentioned above, sometimes is may be difficult to differentiate, some mistakes may not be edited out. In order to control the problems, an idea may be for the companies to hire more editors to look through the articles. While no matter how many people look through the article, opinions may just be phrased in such a way that it is difficult to recognise, and the article may be published just like that. Since the articles cannot go through a foolproof method to prevent opinions from appearing in the article, the best way to control the problems is for the reporters to understand fully that the line between facts and opinions is very thin, and to take note while writing the articles. Also, another idea can be to get the public involved, such as allowing a small portion of the public to read the article before it is officially published, since they can get most of the possible opinions from the public if they were to publish the article, and predict the response.
One is to look out for opinions in the articles, and inform the particular newspaper agency of the mistake. All readers have to do is pay attention while reading.

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