F is for Facts in the A-Z Blogging
Opinions or Facts?
It’s been years since I watched “the news”.
The word ‘news’ needs to be in quotation marks because in this age of 24-hour ‘news’ it’s amazing how tenuous some of the topics are that pass as ‘news’!
How corporate or politically motivated ‘opinions’ are presented as ‘facts’…
You just need to watch a story for a few minutes – with a questioning mind – to realise that most of it is hearsay and speculation, with a few ‘facts’ but mostly reaction, based on opinion.
Comedian and satirist Dave Gorman sums it up so well in this clip…
“I’m not going to do your job for you, I want you to tell me what happened!”
My morning routine, like millions of others, used to be eating my breakfast in front of “the news”. I’d tell myself it was to ‘see what was happening in the world’.
By the time I’d drunk my tea, all those fresh feelings of sleep and a warm shower were tainted with an oily mist of human misery. I was heavier, despairing, starting my day with nothing but depressing images of the crappy things people do to each other. It’s enough to make you lose all faith in humanity.
I hate ‘The News’!
You get a snap shot of one or two items dubbed ‘newsworthy’. The story is then sensationalised. Dramatic music, emotive language, swaddled in layers of political agenda. Fear sells papers and satellite TV subscriptions.
The ‘news’ is curtain-twitching for mass consumption.
You only ever see the absolute worst of humanity on ‘the news’. It’s amplified and repeated, so you can see how extremist views quickly take hold. You hear people sharing recycled opinions in everyday conversations and emotive headlines verbatim like they came up with it themselves.
Then, one day I was so sick of starting my day on a negative, that I stopped. I detoxified my life of TV news and all newspapers and I’ve never looked back!
I still see ‘what’s going on in the world’ – just with a glance at Twitter – where you see all the points of view on whatever people are talking about that day. The entire spectrum – from catastrophe to National Cat Day.
If you really want to know what’s happening in the world, reach outside your bubble, turn off the TV, put your phone away and look outside your door.
Pay attention to the people around you. Get involved in your local community and you’ll quickly see the amazing and inspiring things ordinary people do, every day. That never make it onto “the news”!
Be The Change
Gandhi is famously quoted as saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
If you don’t like something, don’t be part of it. Find a different path…
Be The Real News
Fight back against the tide of politically motivated propaganda and negative deluge, change the story.
Switch off and tune into something more positive.
Your Blog, Your Story
I appreciate the irony of writing an opinion piece about the way ‘facts’ are presented in corporate media!
You can think of your business blog as your own online magazine.
You choose the facts, you form and share the opinions, you are the editor in charge of your own publication.
Strike a balance between facts and story, and never confuse ‘facts’ with ‘opinion’ (what are you, Fox News?).
- Share relevant facts, but back them up with well sourced and referenced research
- Form your own opinion. Critically analyse your own take on a topic
- Be clear, in your own mind, and for the sake of your readers – what is your opinion and what is factually based
- Keep it positive – Give us a choice, we all need some good news in our lives!