“Commentary” is a news genre that presents the writer’s views and opinions on a specific topic or issue. Like opinion pieces, commentary is distinguished from “objective” news, which aims to present information and facts in a neutral and unbiased way. However, commentary is typically more focused on a specific topic or issue, and may provide more in-depth analysis and context.
Guidelines for journalists and users of a citizen journalist website to follow when writing and consuming commentary include:
- Clearly label commentary: Commentary pieces should be clearly labeled so readers know that they are reading the writer’s personal views and opinions on a specific topic.
- Disclose any conflicts of interest: Conflicts of interest may affect a writers views or opinions and should be disclosed in the piece.
- Respect the views and opinions of others: Writers and readers should respect the views and opinions of others, even if they disagree. This means avoiding personal attacks and harassment, and instead engaging in respectful and constructive debate.
- Present factual information accurately: While commentary pieces are meant to present the writer’s personal views, they should still be based on accurate and factual information.
- Provide context and analysis: Commentary should provide context and analysis on the topic or issue being discussed, rather than simply expressing the writer’s personal opinions.
By following these guidelines, journalists can help ensure that commentary is presented in a responsible and transparent way and that readers are able to understand and evaluate the writer’s perspective.