I am looking to get a better understanding of different categories of material written in a newspaper. I had assumed two main types:

1) News (i.e. reporting of facts) -> objective (not debatable).

2) Opinion/editorial (i.e. interpretation) -> subjective (debatable)

For reputable papers there would be no bias in the "news", i.e. you could accept the facts as accurate. No personal opinion allowed. Any bias would be in the opinion/editorial pages, because here the writer could insert his/her opinion, make inferences, etc. NYT Readers Guide says:

"Editorials ... are not intended to give a balanced look at both sides"

So you might like the point-of-view of one paper but actually trust more the "facts" of a more reputable paper (but whose perspective you don't like). I think papers even segregate the staff of these two categories.

But recently I found another category called "News Analysis". I need help understanding this category.

In researching online I find things like: Analysis can have "expert opinion" but not "personal opinion". Meaning the writer can draw conclusions/inferences but only those supported by the data, or could include the opinion of an expert.

But then a good editorial also makes evidence-based arguments from supporting evidence.

So in which category does Analysis belong? Is it "news" (i.e. objective) or "opinion" (subjective)?

  • sounds like this question could be off topic Oct 30 '19 at 18:53
  • This is really difficult because the root issue here is the categorization you've made, and whether "objective" and "subjective" are sufficiently descriptive buckets for news content. So if news presents immediate content and aspires to rigorously source its facts, and opinions create persuasive arguments about current issues, a news analysis may aspire to a greater level of rigor in breaking down and connecting news stories. Oct 30 '19 at 19:34
  • @dolphin_of_france What makes you think this is off topic? Journalism is a form of professional writing and is absolutely on topic here.
    – linksassin
    Oct 30 '19 at 22:57
  • Hi get_going, welcome to writing.se! Take the tour and visit the help center for more information. This is a good first question, thanks for participating and happy writing!
    – linksassin
    Oct 30 '19 at 23:00
  • @linksassin Thanks so much, I appreciate it!
    – get_going
    Oct 31 '19 at 12:12

Analysis obviously has to include objective news as the subject of the analysis, but it is not necessarily opinion.

For example, News might quote the President, or a candidate. Analysis might take that quote and demonstrate, objectively, it is false. Or demonstrate that while true, it is also misleading.

An example is a recent story I read on burying (in a landfill) wind turbine blades that are beyond repair, and the author quoted some millions of tons of blades thusly buried. That was an objective fact, and news to me. They then went on to an opinion, that increasing the load on the environment in a landfill was negating the supposedly environmentally friendly aspect of using wind turbines instead of fossil fuels.

However, an Analyst could anticipate (or respond) to this. I checked, the ANNUAL wind turbine blade burial accounts for something like 0.01% of our DAILY dump into landfills. It is completely insignificant, the material they are made from produces no significant carbon dioxide or methane by rotting, and rotting food and other organic materials produce the vast amount of greenhouse gases in landfills.

It is completely safe, with regard to greenhouse gases, to bury wind turbine blades. They could be pulverized (using green wind electricity, of course) and dumped or buried.

Analytical news can use facts and reasoning (not opinion) to clarify some piece of news, and show that it is alarming, or not alarming, true or false, or true but intentionally misleading, or technically false but something quite similar and equally alarming is true, and so forth.

Ideally Analysis provides context and additional facts so readers understand the News.

  • Excellent analysis :) I believe reputable papers, segregate their News and Editorial departments. So which department handles the News Analysis articles, do you know?
    – get_going
    Oct 30 '19 at 22:37

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