Students learn the difference between fact and opinion
Four popular characters on Songbirds - Ted, Bax, Daisy and Alysha - are asked to write a story about an HIV/Aids clinic in Hong Kong. But how do you write a story about a controversial issue like that?
In the extract below, the students' journalism lecturer Dr Lo explains the difference between factual truth and opinion.
Bax: But how should we start?
Dr Lo: You should always start with the truth. It is a good journalist's business to always report the truth.
Daisy: Huh! A lot of newspapers just tell a lot of lies!
Dr Lo: Yes, Daisy. That's true for some newspapers, but not for all newspapers and certainly not for our newspaper.
Ted: But if we write boring stuff no one will want to read it!
Dr Lo: Ted, telling the truth does not mean you have to be boring. Fact is often more interesting than fiction.
Alysha: So we have to write the truth but make it interesting.
Dr Lo: Yes, Alysha.
Bax: But how do we do that?
Dr Lo: Well, have an angle, a point of view. You are writing a story about an Aids clinic and how the local residents are against it.
Daisy: (Interrupting) So you want us to write about how dumb the residents are?
Dr Lo: A good journalist should always tell the truth, Daisy.
Daisy: But is my point of view the truth? OK, it's my truth but is it everybody's truth? Some people might sympathise with the residents.
Dr Lo: A journalist can report the facts and give a point of view based on those facts. But only hard facts are the real truth. Points of view may differ.
Journalists play an important role in society - they can help to expose wrong-doing and bring about positive change. Ted, Bax, Daisy and Alysha learn that facts can be reported as truth, but people's opinions may differ What do you think?
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