Sunday, April 9, 2017

Commentary and opinion IS NOT NEWS and should be clearly labeled either “Commentary” or “Opinion” in the print edition of a newspaper.

Ironically, in tomorrow’s Palm Beach Post, in the LWVVSMCPE (explained below) will likely be a “Commentary” by beat reporter Kevin Thompson lamenting a “shameless exploitation at its highest” by bringing even more attention to this “shameless” issue.

Oh, well.

In a previous “Commentary” published in the LWVVSMCPE last February, the headline editor at the Post DID NOT clearly identify opinions about the Lake Worth municipal pool as either “Commentary” or “Opinion”. That is essential for newspaper readers to unambiguously understand (more about that below). The last line in the opinion piece about the City’s pool was this:
“And the city has been drowning in it far too long.”
The quote above is not “news” — although it may be accurate for some “the city has been drowning in it” — that is clearly opinion. Opinion and commentary belongs on the editorial page. That’s what the editorial page is for.

Whether the headline editor labels this matter correctly or not is up to the Post. Here on this blog, however, the “shameless exploitation” cited above was never a topic on this blog about the City of Lake Worth.

Anyhow, tomorrow is Lake Worth’s Very Very Special Monday Collector Print Edition (LWVVSMCPE). Again. Each and every Monday.
The cities of Greenacres, Palm Springs, Atlantis, and Lake Clarke Shores are not special. Those citizens should understand the LWVVSMCPE was not Lake Worth’s idea. The editors at the Post made that decision . . . sans public debate and participation.

For more about “Commentary” and “Opinion” from The New York Times Clear Thinking, Clear Writing” is this:

“Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled. . .”.

And if you think some in the City of Lake Worth are too critical of The Palm Beach Post:

“Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.

It’s important to remember most subscribers of the Post get the print edition and eschew the online version. Note the online version about the “shameless exploitation at its highest” is clearly labeled “Commentary”. And there’s no reason that print subscribers shouldn’t be clearly advised as well if this appears in the ‘B’, Local Section tomorrow.