On texts

Article published on March 1, 2010
community published
Article published on March 1, 2010
I sometimes get comments both to this blog and the Lithuanian one, saying that the statements in one or another blog entry are "not objective", "biased", etc. Hence today I wanted to share some basic knowledge about categories in opinion journalism.
I hope that you'll excuse me for only refering to Wikipedia, but these things are encyclopaedially basic :)

So, Wikipedia lists the following common categories of opinion journalism And finally we come to the glorious genre of The king of media is, of course, Article: "A news article is an article published in a print or Internet news medium [...] A news article can include accounts of eyewitnesses to the happening event. It can contain photographs, accounts, statistics, graphs, recollections, interviews, polls, debates on the topic, etc. [...] References to people can also be made through written accounts of interviews and debates confirming the factuality of the writer’s information and the reliability of his source. [...] [N]ewspaper reporters are trained to write in inverted pyramid style, with all the most important information in the first paragraph or two." Although this is by far the most common type of press publication, not everything that is written is an article. See below.Advice column: "An advice column is a column in a magazine or newspaper written by an advice columnist (colloquially known in British English as an agony aunt, or agony uncle if the columnist is a male)" - I never write those, maybe later in life.

"Causerie (from French, "babble") is a literary style of short informal essays [...]. Causerie is generally short, light and humorous and is often published as a newspaper column, although it is not defined by its format. Often causerie is a current opinion piece, but it contains more verbal acrobatics and humor than a regular opinion or column. Language jokes, hyperbole, intentional disregard of linguistic and stylistic norms, and other absurd or humorous elements are permitted. For example, in causerie about a politician, he can be placed in an imagined situation." - I never write anything like this for any newspaper, yet this Lithuanian blog entry could more or less match the genre.

Colour piece: "A colour piece (or colour feature) is a section of a publication (such as a newspaper or magazine) that focuses mainly on impressions or descriptions of the subject matter." - honestly, I don't know this genre that well Now, Column: "A column is a recurring piece or article in a newspaper, magazine or other publication. Columns are written by columnists. What differentiates a column from other forms of journalism is that it meets each of the following criteria:It is a regular feature in a publication It is personality-driven by the author It explicitly contains an opinion or point of view (emphasis mine)". This is what I write every week for the Atgimimas weekly - commentaries for a column. Editorial: "An editorial, also called an opinion piece or a leading newspaper article, is a piece of writing intended to promote an opinion or perspective.[1][2] Editorials are featured in many newspapers and magazines, usually written by the senior editorial staff or publisher of the publication. [...]Typically, a newspaper's editorial board evaluates what issues on which their readership is interested in hearing the newspaper's opinion." Editorials are often unsigned. I've never written one.Essay: "An essay is usually a short piece of writing which is quite often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author." - this is my favourite genre. Most of my recent feminist writing falls into this category. Expose is an article of investigative journalism, which contains 'deep' reporting and a thorough investigation."Feuilleton is the genre that allows for much freedom as far as its content, composition and style are concerned; the text is hybrid which means that it makes use of different genre structures, both journalistic and literary ones." It consists "chiefly of non-political news and gossip, literature and art criticism, a chronicle of the latest fashions, and epigrams, charades and other literary trifles. The feuilleton may be described as a "talk of the town"." - this is something rather close to me :)Interview is something very obvious, I think. News items are another story: "News is the communication of information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience."Op-ed: "An op-ed, abbreviated from opposite the editorial page (though often believed to be abbreviated from opinion-editorial), is a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper's editorial board. These are different from editorials, which are usually unsigned and written by editorial board members." - This is one I sent from Sweden to Balsas.lt, which was not the same as it is now... Now something on Reporting: "Reporters gather their information in a variety of ways, including tips, press releases, sources (those with newsworthy information) and witnessing events. They perform research through interviews, public records, and other sources. The information-gathering part of the job is sometimes called "reporting" as distinct from the production part of the job, such as writing articles." In this blog, the piece closest to reporting is probably this one.


"A (a of the term "") is a type of , usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. [...] Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal . [...] Many bloggers, particularly those engaged in , differentiate themselves from the , while others are members of that media working through a different channel. Some institutions see blogging as a means of "getting around the filter" and pushing directly to the public. [...] Many mainstream journalists, meanwhile, write their own blogs — well over 300, according to CyberJournalist.net's J-blog list."

blogcontractionweb log[1]websiteonline diariesparticipatory journalismmainstream mediamessages

Since I work at a weekly, I can sometimes afford a whole 'participatory' cycle: first I post some interesting or disturbing news on my Facebook and ask people to comment on it (including send proofs that it's not true), then I post it on my blog, and then, if I have enough material, I can develop it into an article or an opinion piece in my column. Reporters and staff writers of dailies do not have such a luxury. For them blogs can be a chance to reveal their personal take on a story they tried to report on impartially.As much as I believe in interdisciplinarity, I think that the separation of media genres should be maintained. Not that I think journalists should hide their opinion in articles, which they inevitably have. Journalists' opinion is expressed in their choice of sources, quoting, choice of adjectives, verbs and conjunctions. Very often, when journalists report on something and cannot express their opinion, they express it in the choice of accompanying illustrations. For example, at some point the press was blooming with funny faces of George W. Bush. I believe that journalists have a right to opinion, but they should make it explicit. Opinions should not exist in news items. If possible, journalists should opt for an opinion piece if they have something personal to say, or separate their views from facts by inserting "from what I have seen", "I think", "in my opinion"... We all know that objectivity as such is a myth. I think that journalists should not aim at objectivity. What they should aim at is being fair. This means hearing the other side, collecting and presenting a variety of arguments, and, when they have it, expressing their opinion as 'one of', and not a meta-opinion superior to those of all other people quoted.For those of you who think that the blog is too personal, I have to disappoint you: whenever I have something well-grounded, fact-based and newsworthy, I prefer to write an article and send it to a professional medium. However, I do my best to bring you, dear readers, all kinds of interesting, ironic, inspiring, pathetic, etc stories and, whenever possible, present more voices about them.