Tuesday, April 13, 2004

A letter to the NYT on obligations of fact and corrections could be my credo as a feature writer who is wary of the conventions of "hard news" (see my "About" sidebar below left)

Since opinion by definition is subjective, then op-ed columnists are the most "fair" because they explicitly disclose their hand in shaping a narrative, whereas reporters do not. Editors shape the narrative structure: which articles go on the front page, above or below the fold, which photographs are featured in color or in black and white. The font size of the headline prepares readers to expect anywhere from grave emergency to the quotidian status quo. Who doesn't select the facts? And in turn, who does publicly acknowledge, "This narrative is my opinion, shaped to my own preferences"? Seanna Oakley, Ann Arbor, Mich., March 29, 2004 link

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