Factual content is especially hard to find these days. Here’s a quick rundown of each.
What is a fact?
A fact is anything that can be backed up with reliable and true evidence to support the claim as, well, factual. An example of this would be, for instance, Russell Westbrook. Westbrook has 32 triple-doubles this season, and is now in front of Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain for second-most in a single season. How is this true? It’s statistically proven and “fact” that Westbrook has 32 triple-doubles, and it is also proven that Chamberlain had 31 in a season, who now is third all-time behind Westbrook (32) and Oscar Robertson (41).
What is a implication/inference?
An implication, or inference (whichever you like), is a conclusion that you can draw, but isn’t quite the correct conclusion. It’s an assumption, basically. An example of this would be an if/than statement. So, if my friend Joe loves to read guitar notes, I assume that he plays guitar. But, he doesn’t, and just likes to read music.
What is an opinion?
An opinion is a viewpoint or a judgement that is formed about a manner, that isn’t backed up or based on any fact or knowledge. An example of this would be LeBron James being better than Michael Jordan. There’s no evidence that this is fact. Both played different positions, with different team styles and in different eras. You can compare rings, points at certain ages, etc., but there’s no evidence or factual support that one is better than the other. You cannot make something that is immeasurable, a fact.
Examples of a fact, implication, and opinion in media reports
Fact: “Severe winter storm bears down on Northeast”– abcnews.go.com
This article is factual because New York did redeploy assets from NYC to central NY, and is backed up by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his news conference. The article also spoke about travel problems represented by the storm. The section titled “Travel largely out of the question” has factual evidence from multiple airports given in the report.
Implication: “Toshiba looking to sell Westinghouse nuclear business”- bbc.com/news
This is an implication because the author is assuming that Toshiba is in the process of selling Westinghouse nuclear business. Unfortunately, the article doesn’t state that the company is in the process of this. It states that the company has been struggling recently with the resignation of their chairman Shigenori Shiga in February.
Opinion: “Yobb: Analyzing the Eagles’ top choices at WR”- thewhitonline.com
This is an opinion because it’s literally in the “opinion” tab of Rowan University’s online newspaper. The author, Chris Yobb, states that is is an opinion in the whole first paragraph. “It seems like the Philadelphia Eagles found their franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz. Things are looking up for the organization now that they have filled that needy spot on their roster. But that means it’s time to move to their next big hole on offense: wide receiver.” The bolded words show that it is an opinionated piece, and the rest of the article stands true to this claim.