Monday, January 24, 2011

Reflection No.1 - Joshua Ma

I want you to think about the following questions:

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?

For the journalist/reporter, if he/she includes opinions inside the new report, there could be a lot of controversy among people if they are against her opinion towards a certain piece of news as the news report will only represent her views as she will not be able to look at it from the readers’ points of view. Also, if he/she does not include the right facts, it could lead to the misleading of the readers, resulting in propaganda ( only if intentionally ) and it could affect what the readers believe in, for example, positive results were reported when in truth, the results were negative.

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

According to the article, the content of the linked websites should be monitored and internet users should be warned that the pages they visit are not part of the news website. I suggest for the linked websites to be checked by those higher in rank than the writers before publishing and to get rid of any offensive links if they are found. Also, the head of the company should regularly warn the writers against immediately publishing new information until all of the information is confirmed by those above their rank, to make sure the information is accurate, preventing the misleading of readers to believe the wrong information.

3. What are some responsibilities of discerning readers?

As readers, we should keep a lookout for different points of view, and be able to differentiate opinions and facts from each other. We should also not believe everything on the news as it might not always be true, especially when it comes to the reporter’s opinion, and we should also find out if the links have reliable information or not. If not, we should warn others against the particular news report or even the website in more serious cases, or we could file a complaint to the newspaper, informing them of the error. In order to distinguish the good websites from the bad ones, we should read about the same article on reliable websites such as official newspapers, for example, The Straits Times, to see if the information reported in that online website matches that of the official newspaper.

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