Every perspective on a news story is equally important


Over the last six weeks, we have been talking a lot about different perspectives and viewpoints and the effect that they can have on others. I thought about this in the context of journalism and, after much deliberation, came to the conclusion that for the most part at least I agree with this statement.

One reason I believe every perspective is important is that, on some occasions as a journalist, some of the people you interview and listen to might not be telling the truth, or their version of the truth might be clouded by emotion or preconceived ideas. That's not to say these people's perspectives are not important- on the contrary, they might give us some very useful information- but it will be impossible to see the full picture without also listening to the viewpoints of other more reliable sources.

For example, in Myanmar Aung Sand Suu Kyi has shared her perspective on many occasions. It is important to hear from such an important leader and, as we discussed during one of our sessions, often hearing from someone with power or someone who is well-renowned is enough to make a news story credible. However, she can not necessarily be trusted. She is not 'on the ground', she hasn't experienced what it going on and she is very defensive about the things that have been happening in order to protect her reputation. We need to hear from a range of people to get the full story: people who have been involved in experiencing the violence as well as outsiders who many be able to see the overall picture more clearly.

A second reason I believe it is important to gather a range of perspectives is because it is important to stay open minded when it comes to the news. It is so easy to look at a story with preconceptions or judgements. But just because somebody is saying something you might not want to hear, that doesn't mean it is any less valid. Sometimes it is these difficult facts or viewpoints that can open your eyes to what is really going on.

For example, in Myanmar many different people are sharing their perspectives, and some are more difficult to listen to that others. When we originally did the viewpoint activity, I disregarded some people straight away as I didn't think they would be reliable. However, when I did listen to what they had to say, I found myself having a completely different opinion of the events in Myanmar. If I had not opened to mind to listening to these, I would have gone away not having known the full story.

I believe that it is not always possible to know for sure who you can or can't trust and, as a journalist in particular, it is important to reserve judgement until you have heard the full story. Perspective is so unique to each individual that it is essential to gather as many different viewpoints as possible in order to put together the pieces of the jigsaw and, hopefully, form an accurate and detailed picture of what is happening.

Here is where I used the Burnet News Club skills in my work:

Curiosity- I asked lots of questions about perspective, and even ended up questioning myself as to why I thought certain things. This helped me to become more open minded and allowed me to develop my ideas and understanding.

Sceptisism- Many of the people in my group thought that there were some opinions that should be immediately ignored. However, I challenged their ideas and was able to make my own mind up.

Reasoning- I presented my reasons in a clear and structured way.

Story telling- I was able to communicate my ideas for an appropriate audience and, hopefully, used ideas which grabbed the reader's attention.

Open mindedness- I challenge myself and my own thoughts, looking for weaknesses in my reasoning and being open to changing my mind.

Comments (12)

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  • Wow! I totally agree on you because everyone has a different perspective such as the point of view.

  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ Topical Talk 16 Oct 2018

    Hi fearless_wolverine,

    WOW. What a fantastic final piece post. We've awarded this a star because you've given strong reasons for your opinions, communicated clearly, and reflected on your own perspective as well. Great job!

    These days with social media such as Facebook and Twitter, we create a 'friend' circle of people online who have similar view points to us. Then we see posts, videos, shares from this group of people only. How might this affect how we get different perspectives?

  • I think that every perspective on a news story is as important and that every person has their right to a view on a story and to criticise this too.

  • I think that everyone should have their own opinion as in perspective

  • I agree with everything in this piece- I would like to congratulate fearless wolverine for putting together this outstanding final piece!

  • I agree with you and I'd just like to say why? Some of what I have to say might have already been said by you but that means I agree. I think that every perspective in a news story is important because you never know when someone's comment might be really useful. You shouldn't just disregard the comment if you don't like it. EVERYONE should be able to have their own say whatever the matter. Usually the news would try and get as many different views and perspectives as possible. You shouldn't just focus on someone's comment and ignore the others, ESPECIALLY if YOUR the interviewer. People might have different views than you! How would you feel if you were interviewed and then ignored after a sentence because people didn't like what you had to say! It's like how everyone should be treated equally, most schools teach that. Well everyone's perspective should be treated equally as well!

  • WOW! I loved this, and it even made me think about changing my mind... I LOVE how you stated the BNC skills that you used in your post! No wonder you got on the Editor’s picks section AND you got a star ⭐️!

  • But why do we need a presdidnt

    Why do we need a presidnent and why do we need to vote