Lesson 5: News vs. Opinion

One of the more confusing things about journalism is the appearance of opinion inside news shows, news websites or newspapers. We're not talking about a report that quotes experts or witnesses providing their opinion of what happened or will happen.
We're talking about journalists who express their opinions, in movie reviews, columns and editorials and video commentaries.

What’s up with THAT?


With this lesson, we encourage you to start using a new vocabulary to define the Opinion Journalism sub-neighborhood of the Journalism neighborhood.

And we encourage you to pay attention to the difference between Opinion Journalism and Mere Assertion…something we like to call “Bloviation” (Isn’t that a great word?)

In previous lessons, we referred to VIA (Verification, Independence, Accountability) as the device to use to define what neighborhood a piece of information goes in. 

With that idea in mind, we next tackle the complicated problem of opinion journalism.

In this lesson, there are 4 major questions that we'll look to answer: 

  • How do you tell the difference between straight news reporting and opinion journalism?

  • Why should you care which is which?

  • What is the value of opinion journalism?

  • How do you tell the difference between opinion journalism and mere
    partisan assertion?


Lesson 5 Contents