On October 24th, I was in Los Angeles at the Boyle Heights Wellness Center for a California Endowment youth media news conference. Overall, my youth media news team was given information on how to become better and more efficient journalists. It was great to have this type of knowledge given to us, especially for us still-aspiring journalists.
During this event I was in a workshop with Julia Landau, a freelance reporter and filmmaker, concerning having the power to be able to back up your opinions with facts for a strong commentary. Landau met with a few other youth reporters and myself in an office to discuss how important commentaries are with data.
She started off with handing us a paper that had an op-ed by a young journalist in California. Landau told us to spot the errors in this op-ed and to find ways to make it more credible. We spent about ten minutes reading and writing notes on this paper, correcting everything could find as we read.
After the ten minutes, Landau asked everyone what their opinions were on the op-ed then went straight to explaining how she could have made it more reliable and credible. In the end, the workshop explained that being able to back up your opinions with facts and credibility is very important.
In the workshop, Landau also mentioned that you must have a trustworthy study to defend your opinions. You may have all the data in world to go with your opinions but if they aren’t very trustworthy, your op-ed could fall apart.
I am always told by my news editor, Isaac Gonzalez, that I must be able to have truthful facts and that my statements must be provable. Gonzalez occasionally corrects me when I use words such as “most” but to instead use a word such as “many” unless I have data and a credible study to back that word up. He tells me from time and time to use facts and figures instead of assumptions and guesses in my articles. If you don’t have your data to back up your opinions, you could end up with a lot of criticism. Your readers would debate if you’re credible or even reliable as they reviewed your articles. If they conclude that you’re not either of those things, it could hurt the work you do and result with people not trusting your work.
“Articles with fantastic statements and no data to back them up, lose all credibility in my opinion,” says Gonzalez. “I want the article that my youth reporters write to be backed up with irrefutable facts, so that our readers are sure about what they are gleaning.”
A new study by Californiastatisticsrus.com has found out that being alive increases the risk of cancer by 100%.
“After studying for hours and hours I have came to a conclusion that the only people who have cancer have been alive while people who are now deceased do not,” said Doctor Stevens, a Endocrinologist.
Obviously, what I just said made absolutely no sense. I pointed out a study that seems to be pretty unreliable. I also cited a website that does not exist. Then I made up a quote from a person who also doesn’t exist. This all points to my sources not being credible or reliable at all.
To anyone who would have read this article with such an awful citing of sources would not use it as reliable source nor believe anything you wrote. That is why it is incredibly important to make your articles or op-ed’s as credible and reliable as possible.