facts and opinions

Walter Cronkite used to urge “objective” journalists away from the use of adjectives, arguing that they carried undesirable subjectivity.  The recent sophistication of electronic content analysis systems follow suit, as in the article “Mining the web for feelings, not just facts”:

For example, a preponderance of adjectives often signals a high degree of subjectivity, while noun- and verb-heavy statements tend toward a more neutral point of view.

The inclusion of opinions and facts in tracking online geography, on the other hand, supports a more critical view of news discourse–that these categories are not as clearly separate as the traditional “Cronkitean” ideology of professional journalism maintained:

As search engines begin to incorporate more and more opinion data into their results, the distinction between fact and opinion may start blurring to the point where, as David Byrne once put it, “facts all come with points of view.”


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