February 5th, 2021

News vs. opinion

Interesting story on NPR this morning about the software company that is suing Fox News and three of its evening entertainers for allegedly spreading malicious misinformation about the company. Fox's defence is that the evening entertainers were engaging in "clear opinion."

As has been discussed elsewhere, one place that could be an easy starting point is to educate children to adults the difference between journalistic reporting and opinion. Need not be any censorship involved in categorizing the information as false news or not, but simply teaching people to recognize when something is news and when something is opinion. Just being able to identify when something comes from a media company's news department and when it comes from opinion/entertainment could be useful to help people decide for themselves.

Tags: Cable News, Disinformation, Fake news, information literacy, Media

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Comments (2)

Comments (2)

Hi Randall:

I wonder if there is a regulatory role -- if media companies can/should be compelled by FTC rules to label their content as "fact" and "opinion."

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I don't think so. It may have been a part of the FCC Fairness Doctine of 1949, but thanks to President Ronald Reagan, that was revoked in 1985, thus paving the way for the wild west of cable "news and opinion." There was attempts to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, but they were blocked at every corner.