Monday, January 24, 2011

Reflection No. 1 - Shamus Seng

1. 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?
2. How can some of the problems raised in the articles be controlled?
3. What are some responsibilities of discerning readers?
Facts and opinions play a great part in journalism. Facts tell the audience the exact information, with complete details and elaboration, so that the audience will know the 5W (what, where, why, who, when) and 1H (how) of the entire incident. If there are too many opinions in the article, the audience might get the wrong information. Opinions are the points of view of different people based on their thoughts and feelings. Opinions are not always correct or exact, and they may be both positive and negative. If there too many facts in the article, the audience might be bored, hence bits of people’s thoughts are useful to make the article more lively.
The problems raised can be the citations. The citations are either inaccurate or inappropriate, which can be controlled by monitoring the content of these websites, or warning the internet users the pages they visit are not part of the article. Another problem is racism and mentioning inappropriate content, which can upset readers. This can be controlled by removing all the racism remarks and being fair to all races. Furthermore, inappropriate content should be banned at all times. Another problem is the audience does not know which websites are credible, and which are not. This can be solved by asking google to separate the official newspaper company’s websites from other websites. Another problem is the dilemma of breaking a news story immediately on the internet and therefore alerting rival news outlets, or waiting to break the news in another medium and have an exclusive story. This can be solved by allowing the newspaper companies to publish their story on the web at certain periods of the day only.
Readers should be responsible when reading online articles, and not start a debate or “fight” over slight opinions made by journalists. Under the discussion section of the Saturday Times, readers should watch the language they use, and the content they mention. Racism must be omitted, as it can lead to riots between different races. Inappropriate content must be banned at all times, as some content may upset readers, and lead to disputes, or even verbal abuse over the internet. Readers also need to be aware of the accuracy of the languages used, for example proper English, and not Singlish.

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