Take for example a reporter on the health beat. Through their own research and interviews, they can dispense information regarding the effectiveness of say a certain medicine but it would be pretentious to purport to prescribe the same medicine to those watching, listening or reading. That should be left to a qualified medical practitioner.
A dangerous trend has emerged, where journalists neglect to draw the line between expert opinion and their personal interpretations.
Journalists as Experts
Whereas interpretative and enterprise reporting is a very welcomed addition, as journalists move away from the drab 5Ws and an H maxim, care should be taken not to overtly seem to want to pass off as the master of every known subject.
More often than not, an intelligent audience,(it is always disastrous to assume otherwise), will see through the charade and that could easilly result to flashing the credibility of a journalist and their news channel down the drain.
Attribution is the key operative word here. Every statement of fact should ideally be qualified and it will be foolhardy to rely on one's own personal views or understanding.
Pigeon peas, courtesy, www.seedman.com
And this was out of my so presupposed knowledge of the differences between the two plants. Immediately after the item aired, a food scientist called and said the story had mistakenly referred to cowpeas pigeon peas.
In the same vein, don't you often get irritated by football match commentators for their Mister Know It All attitudes. The coach of team x should do this and that, player y needs to....I mean, are you suddenly this omnipresent being with the uncanny ability to actually give instructions to the coaches and players from the commentry box?