It seems everyone is writing about current events these days. It’s great that so many people are interested in what’s going on in the world around them, but I’ve noticed something concerning: a lack of journalistic responsibility.
What do I mean by “journalistic responsibility”? That’s simple. If you’re going to write about events like a journalist, you need to check your facts. Don’t state opinion as fact; use facts to support your opinion. A lot of people use the internet to share their opinions on everything from the best taco sauce to the state of the world economy. Which people get the most attention and have the most influence over others? The ones who have obviously done their homework and present their opinions in a logical manner.
Coming across as irrational or uninformed is a fast way to lose all credibility with potential readers. Sloppy writing and parroting what we’re fed by the mainstream media will also discourage people from listening to what you have to say. People turn to the internet and alternative news sources to get the rest of the story, the things the evening news doesn’t have time to talk about.
By blogging or getting into a discussion about current events on a message board, you’ve become an alternative source of information. That’s why journalistic responsibility is so important. The whole point of those discussions and blogs posts is to inform. Make sure you’re spreading true information and not misinformation. Half-truths or outright lies are generally easily exposed by a little research. Don’t lose your credibility by skipping the essential step of checking your facts.
I know what you’re thinking; all of this trouble just to write your opinion on biofuel? Look at it this way. If you go to all of the trouble to make sure you have your facts straight, not only will you have a more informed decision, your opinion will carry more weight with people just by the simple fact that you really do know what you’re talking about.
So, check your facts, write your thoughts in a clear manner, and show the world you know your stuff and can back it up with research.