What Is an Editorial?

Fact and Opinion
Pay careful attention to the news so that you can tell the difference between fact and opinion.

When we look for news, we look try to find out what is happening in the world. News sources provide facts, or things that can be proven true, about events. They tell us who was involved, what happened, where it happened, why it happened, and when it happened. Sometimes news sources tell us more than the facts, though. Sometimes they tell us their opinion.

 An opinion is something that cannot be proven. News sources give opinions in special parts of the news called editorials, or commentaries. Editorials might be judgements about an event, an idea about an action to take, or even a recommendation about who people should vote for.

How can you tell fact from opinion in the news? Often, newspapers put their editorials on a separate page called the editorial page. They are labeled “Commentary,” “Opinion,” or “Editorial.” News on TV or the Internet is not always so clear. Some news channels even have whole programs where their presenters give their opinions.

Active citizens stay informed on important issues. When looking for inforamation, pay attention to what is fact and what is opinion. Always ask yourself, “Can this be proven or is this somebody’s opinion?”

What Do You Think? Why do you think it is important to read other people’s opinions about the news?

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