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News, Commentary, and Opinion
The media is such a boondoggle now-a-days, it's easy to forget a few important things, there's a difference between news, commentary, and opinion.
News is (supposed to be) pretty straight forward, it tells us what's going on. While the idea of objectivity is a bit of a myth, news is supposed to stick to the facts as much as possible and have the focus of informing its audience on recent events.
Commentary is the dissemination of facts followed up by comments from an individual paid to communicate his opinion to an audience, it is often required that a commentator have credentials such as experience or education in a specific field which gives substance to his commentary.
Opinion is essentially unpaid commentary, it can originate from several different sources, including ordinary people or professionals commenting on a subject outside of their field.
Understanding the difference between news, commentary, and opinion can help in understanding the media. This is one of the reasons why I can't stand to watch NBC, and to a lesser extent CNN, ABC, and Fox. They blend news, commentary, and opinion so thoroughly that every one in this country is confused about what's fact and what's opinion.
That's why I enjoy talk radio, it's straight forward in what it is, commentary. There's no confusion, there's no misleading, I know exactly what I'm getting, even if I don't agree with some of it. It's just too bad I can't flip on the television anymore, and get straight news.
© 2014 TL Flanigan