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[📰] Analyzing NEWS vs. OPINION

I have gathered two news articles and two opinion/analysis articles concerning the events in Afghanistan. 

BBC NEWS [1]

Link to BBC News article

Excerpt from BBC article

This BBC News report offers a netural point of view–with no additional commentary, where-in readers can come up with their own conclusion about the series of events. Neutrality is offered through the article’s use of objective sentences with no use of emotional trigger or first person words; the article is written in third person.

Excerpt from BBC article

While there might be opinions expressed by the sources used, these are only used as a way to express the news itself, not form an opinion within the article. The BBC uses sentences such as “the victim told the BBC” to distinguish that this is the source’s own view amongst a variety of viewpoints.

It is important to note, however, that within this news reporting, a few scrolls down, the BBC has inserted a brief analysis by their chief international correspondent. While this is clearly labeled as an analysis, it is interesting that they have chosen to insert this piece of analysis within a news report based around facts.

CREDIBILITY

Taking the analysis out of the question, the article utilizes verifiable sources with full names in tact for fact checking– which further suggests this article to be a credible source of news. This presents clear knowledge of who the source is and rather deviates from the possibily of this information being inaccurate.

Excerpt from BBC article

Photographic evidence is also provided within the article, accompanied by a clear label describing what the photograph portrays–so as not to leave room for misinterpretation. Additionally, as I attempted to Google search the image, other major news publications reporting on Afghanistan featured this same photograph. Therefore, we know it is a credible photo that is connected to the event, which is not attempting to mislead the public. Therefore, this photograph is used as an observable fact which can be verified.

The BBC article’s credibility is also strongly supported by its use of numerical data which is backed up by sources–detailing how the BBC recieved this information and can further be verified. The BBC relays their sources to readers–where-in information can be verified– which ultimately acts as a form of transparency; this increases the article’s credibility.


ABC NEWS [2]

Link to article

This ABC News article is constantly updating with new information. This coverage is news because it is reporting what has happened so far without any additional commentary or drawing of conclusions. The writing is written in third person and without a “voice” or point of view; all of this points to the article being news.

CREDIBILITY

This is a credible piece of news reporting because it contains:

Excerpt from ABC News article
  • quotes from reputable and verifiable sources
    For obvious reasons, the Pentagon press secretary is a reputable source whose words are also verifiable.


  • video evidence from press conferences
    Evidence is important when arguing for credibility–especially video evidence. ABC News offers a clickable video for readers to watch and listen to the press conference. Additionally, this connects with the news reporting’s use of verifiable sources and the news publication makes this step easier for readers as they do not have to go searching Google for additional research. Instead, it is provided within their news report.

These factors combined, promote accuracy and serve as supporting evidence to increase credibility. Additionally, the headline directly communicates news which precisely represents the article’s contents and does not mean to mislead.



NYTIMES [1]

Link to article

Besides the fact that the NYTimes has labeled this news reporting as “opinion”, there is a clear distinct voice that exercises a certain view about the events in Afghanistan. This is separate from “news” as it departs from clear-cut facts and focuses on the author’s personal point of view;one single viewpoint. The author utilizes words such as “we” or “I” within its subjective writing to further establish this as an opinion report.

Excerpt from NYTimes article

CREDIBILITY

Excerpt from NYTimes article

The NYTimes is offering transparency in labeling that this is opinion reporting, which increases its credibility not only of the article but of the news publication itself; there is no room for readers to misinterpret this article as fact when it is properly labeled as opinion. This suggests ethical journalism.

Additionally, the author offers in-text hyperlink sources to back up information that is used within the article. This is used as evidence which ultimately acts to provide credbility to the statements and writing.


THE WASHINGTON POST [2]

Link to article

Unlike the opinion piece above, this report offers facts accompanied by the author’s own drawing of conclusions. This is an author with enough expert knowledge on the subject to be able to draw conclusions about the events in Afghanistan, based on evidence. The author describes the series of events in Agfhanistan, adds an analysis, and then uses a source to back up the analysis–in the form of detailed quotes from reputable sources. Ultimately, these components are what solidify the report to be news analysis.

CREDIBILITY

Once again, this news publication has offered the reader transparency by properly labeling this news reporting as “analysis”. This act of transparency offers credibility to the article and publication. This author’s expertise on the subject adds a level of trustworthiness to the article’s contents.

The author offers verifiable information in the form of hyperlinks for readers to further research the report’s credibility. For instance, the Washington Post article has hyperlinked CNN as their source of information–to which the link takes readers directly to the CNN source.

While “U.S. officials” is a rather vague source, by clicking on the hyperlink the reader is able to see that the two U.S. officials have chosen to remain anonymous during “sensitive policy discussions”. Anonymous sources can still be seen as credible–as learned from this article within module 3. While there are multiple sources (two), the U.S. officials title is too vague and too broad. However, this is the only anonymous source mentioned in the article, as verifiable quotes from named sourced are the majority.

Ultimately, we the reader are to consider the reputation of the outlet and its reporters. The Washington Post is well known for fact-checking and verifying information. The article uses verifiable quotes and sources, numerical data equipped with sourcing for verification, and hyperlink in-text sources to add a level of transparency to the information provided. With these elements in mind, I have come to the conclusion that this is indeed credible reporting.

Disclaimer: videos within headline boxes created and owned by me.

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