I’m sure most of you – like me – have read articles at some point in your life. Sometimes people question the truth behind what they’ve read because they either don’t believe it or they’ve read another article that contradicts it. If you’ve ever written an article though, you know there has to be some truth there or it wouldn’t have been published.
There’s a list of facts (where you got your information – the sources of your research) required with an article submission. This is called a Bibliography.
In a bibliography you list all your sources for the facts in your article. If you submit your article to a publication, they have someone check your sources to make sure they’re true (if it’s a legit and professional publication). If the facts aren’t true or your bibliography or sources don’t pan out, they will refuse to publish the article. Publishing something that’s not true can do harm to the professionalism of the publication and/or the author of the article. So, even if some people think so, they don’t just throw BS at the world in an attempt of making you believe it, at least, not of the publication is credible.
One of the problems today is that anyone can put their opinions or views up on their blog and people believe it. And I’m sure there are not so professional online publications that love to publish articles of more ‘conspiracy theory‘ than actual fact or truth. This can cause a lot of confusion when you’re reading articles that contradict each other. If you read something from a credible publication, but also read something from a not so credible publication that can lead to a lot of confusion.
I tend to have a stronger belief that what I’m being told is the truth if there are links to sources in the online article that supports the article I’m reading. To me, that means there’s truth and basis for what the author is telling me.
Something else that makes articles complicated is angle. I can take a subject and give it to two different authors, telling one to support an idea and one to debunk it. Both can do research and come up with good, strong articles. This is because most times, there are facts to support both. Nothing will ever be completely positive or negative. What happens is that you only use the research that supports what you want to say with your article. You aren’t going to list five sources in your bibliography that undermine what you’re trying to get across, are you? No! You’re going to list all the sources that uphold your argument. This doesn’t mean that it’s true…or false.
That’s where things get even more complicated. You can read articles on the same subject that don’t agree and they could both be right. When that happens, you need to do your own research and find out what the truth really is. Chances are, both are right to some degree.
Really good articles will list some pros and cons on the subject. But that sometimes becomes limited when the author is restricted to a very small word allowance, etc. Then you just express your point and hope you do it well.
Keep in mind that people aren’t really trying to trick you – at least most of them aren’t anyhow – all they’re doing is expressing their views and beliefs based on the facts they believe to be the most important. Everyone has their own feelings on various subjects; it’s what makes the human race beautiful.
This gets very apparent in political articles. They’ll tell you only what they want you to know or believe to get you to support them or dislike someone else. This is the strongest example of ‘angle‘ articles you can get. Usually this is because parties or candidates are looking for the support of certain like-minded people. They believe certain things are more important than others and will twist things to their advantage. Like before though, often both the good and bad are true. With politics small things are blown out of proportion or dramatized for the effect it will have on the listener, or things will be taken out of context. We see it all the time. This just re-enforces the need for people to do their own research on things they don’t believe or understand.
Then there’s something called ‘live news.’ This is most of what you get from news stations as current events unfold. At that point, most reporters only know what they’ve been told and sometimes they aren’t allowed to tell you certain things because it hasn’t been verified or cleared for one reason or another. They have to be very careful, because their job is supposedto bring the truth to the people; if they make a mistake they could cause an unnecessary panic or cause people harm by not telling them if danger is on its way. So, even if the story changes, it’s not because they were lying or trying to fool you, they were going on what they knew to be true at the time.
The truth is: Articles are based on facts, and it’s your responsibility to do more research if you think what you’ve read isn’t true. No one is lying to you – they’re expressin their truth.
Never believe anything blindly, especially if it seems to be off in some way. Chances are, you’ll learn something you didn’t know.
©Rebecca Besser, 2012. All rights reserved.