Editorializing - Don't do it...
to express your opinions rather than just reporting the news or giving the facts
- Editorializing can happen consciously or unconsciously
- Opinions in news stories should be told by the sources themselves, the people who are directly involved and those should be told through direct quotes.
- The reporter's personal opinions should never appear in a news story.
A place for opinions in Journalism
Opinions are expected to appear in:
However, those types of stories are clearly labeled as opinion pieces.
Examples of Editorializing
Poor: Lt. Post is exceptionally well qualified for the position.
Improved: Lt. Post, with a degree in law, has eight years of experience as a Navy legal officer.
Poor: An interesting program is planned for tonight at the Officers’ Club.
Improved: Here is tonight’s program at the Officers’ Club."
1. Because the team is poorly coached, the team loses most games they play.
2. "I think the team would perform better with the right direction and stronger coaching," said the player.
Tips to avoid editorializing:
- In general, don't make assumptions about politics, cause and effect, or give someone free advertising.
- To be safe, if you think that your "fact" is really an opinion, get someone to say it so you can quote them.
- Get BOTH sides of a story. If you only cover one side that is relaying an opinion.
- Especially for news, as a reporter, you shouldn't try to put a spin on any story. Technically, you don't have anything to gain or lose by reporting. Take your opinions and emotions out of the story, and you should be fine.