News, Opinion or Analysis article. What’s the Difference?

Image: TheTrueVine.com

The topic assignment we had last week, was to document our Social Media Usage for 24 hours. You can take a look at my blog post here. As it relates to that blog post, for this week I have curated a few articles as examples of the difference between news articles, opinion articles and analysis articles.

The first submission is the report, Social Media Fact Sheet, by the Pew Research Center. This particular article I believe qualifies as an “Analysis” article for the following reasons. The report addresses various topics regarding social media usage. The report researches various questions, ranging from, “Social media use over time”, “Who uses social media”, to “Which social media platforms are most common”. It provides a plethora of statistical data from its own research and findings, regarding social media usage in the United States. It also provides links to other internal reports/articles, that it has published.

The Pew Research Center is an extremely credible and trustworthy organization. It has been around for 30 years, is globally recognized and has long been a resource to various media, organizations and Universities, such as, Los Angeles KTLA Channel 5, The New York Times, Oxford University, Journalism.org and even Arizona State University itself, just to name a few. They adhere to a very strict code of ethics. That being said, on a trustworthy scale of one to ten, I would rank them a ten, and right at “0” on Professor Dan Gillmor’s Credibility Scale.

My second submission, is the Forbes Magazine article, Distracted By Facebook And Twitter? Take This Social Media Challenge. I would classify this article as, “Opinion.” The reason I would categorize it in this way is because it’s more of the author’s opinion, based on his personal experience using social media. All throughout the article, he gives a lot of examples of his personal usage of social media, and provides advice regarding usage of some social media platforms, however, he does not cite any statistical data, or reports, nor does he provide links to other resources. And although I classify the article as an opinion piece, I would say that Forbes is a credible and trustworthy business magazine. It has been around since 1917. It has a significant global presence. They are recognized as one of the biggest names in business news. According to Ad Fontes Media, they have a high reliability score of 43.39 and fall within the neutral, just a bit to the left, as reflected in their media bias score of -3.74.

For my third submission I present to you the article, Social media use may harm teens’ mental health by disrupting positive activities, study says by CNN. It represents an example of what a News article is. Like the example of the news article, provided by Professor Dan Gillmor, this article “is based on data and observations from sources.” The author extracts examples and quotes from various sources, statistical information, and cites and provides links to various verifiable and credible sources, such as The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health organization.

CNN itself is a global news organization, highly recognized, and trustworthy. Though not perfect, its record speaks for itself, but just to add further scrutiny and evidence, according to Ad Fontes Media, CNN has a very high reliability score. The highest reliability score attained for one of its published articles is 49, and a decent neutral bias score of, -10 to the left and 5.33 to the right. They even have four articles that they have received “0” for, indicating that they were 100% neutral.

My final submission is this ABC article, Cyber Bullying is on the Rise. I included this article because of the subject matter. As the title states, it’s about bullying, cyberbullying to be specific. There are already documented cases that some people use social media platforms to commit acts of cyberbullying. Some of these acts have resulted in horrific tragedies for the victims, the worst being suicide, which the article mentions. Internet trolling is deemed as cyberbullying as well. The US Government even has a dedicated site, StopBullying.gov, devoted to the issue of bullying.

This article is another example of News. It is not opinion. It is based on data, statistics and well documented and factual cases. The author presents the data and the facts as they are. ABC News, is a well established legacy medium. They are nationwide, owned and operated as part of the Disney conglomerate. Like a couple of my other submissions, ABC has a high reliability score, and very close to neutral, but slightly to the left, media bias score of -4.87, according to Ad Fontes Media.

Hopefully this post offers some insight. It’s important that consumers are able to understand the difference between news articles, that truly just report the news, opinion articles, that might be factual, or not, and analysis articles.

Until next time.

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Derek Drew

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