Contrasting News and Commentary
February 13th, 2012
At times it appears that some people do not understand the difference between news and commentary. In the media we do both. The news is all about what happened. Generally, the news is about things out of the ordinary. Man crosses the street safely is not news; man gets run over by a truck while crossing the street is news. Typically, the facts of a story are backed up by reliable, verifiable sources. Occasionally, the media gets the facts wrong and there is no excuse for that; however, given the huge volume news generates each day, the overwhelming majority of it is very accurate. In the media we also do commentary. By definition, commentary is an opinion about the news or the news-makers. There is no right or wrong about it. It is simply one person’s viewpoint. Those in power often resent the commentary offered in the media by citizens and professional commentators alike. That is exactly how it should be! There should be a healthy tension between those in power and those who report on those in power. It is fundamental to a free society.