Author : Teo Blazevski
Introduction : The text is an extended news article – information about a specific problem . However, it does not abide by all journalistic standards. It is lacking elements for the article – such as source and time. A further research effort that would lead to the title of the text has not been made, which is in full contrast to the allegations made in the text.
Link to the original article: Insurance is the best and cheapest solution
Date and time of publication: August 9, 2013
Review date: 11.08.2013
Reviewer: Teofil Blazevski
Accuracy of facts: Cannot be determined
Information sources: It is obvious that various sources have been used for this text. There are statistical indicators, a lot of figures, and at one point the text also includes “field information” and “experts”. Unfortunately, the sources are anonymous. Therefore, it cannot be determined whether the text is using one or more sources, whether they are relevant or not or if they are one-sided, though everything except the title indicates one-sided source/s.
Extensiveness: The text meets the minimum level of comprehensiveness. This means that it has a subject matter, there is data on the subject and it even has an “expert opinion”. However, by not engaging just a little bit more into further research efforts in order to see where the problem is, the journalist is de facto concealing data about the actual reasons for such a small percent of insured farmers.
Bias: The text only partially presents the truth. The subject is not completely analyzed, so we cannot see the actual reasons for the current situation if we assume that the data is accurate. The twisting of the truth or the spin is the strongest in the title of the text, although elements resembling a spin can also be seen in other parts of the text: “Insurance is the best and cheapest solution”.
Commenting: The text only has one clearly visible commenting element which is integrated in a paragraph where the previous sentence is presenting facts:
The drought and floods are an example that the best and cheapest solution for crop protection is insurance.
Originality/Plagiarism: Having in mind that the source for this news article is neither stated nor signed, one cannot determine whether this is a complete or partial copy or an original work.
Quality of the title: The title misinforms, because from what is shown in the text, it is clear that at the present, insurance is not the cheapest solution. The title is appropriate because it is directly related to the topic in the text, and it is biased because it directs the reader towards the wrong conclusion if he only reads the title of the article.
This is one more example of a text that cannot meet the professional journalistic standards because it does not contain the required elements in its genre. The genre is an (extended) article, which could have been transformed in a beautiful analysis with just a little extra journalist effort or added value. The current article lacks the source and time (“in the past five years” is not enough when it comes to accurate statistical analyses) as the key elements defining the genre and elements that are necessary if the author is willing to meet professional standards. Hence, we cannot determine the truthfulness of the statements in the text.
The twisting of the truth is evident, along with the commenting elements, both present in the title which is completely inconsistent with the facts presented in the text. Although the title suggests it and refers the reader to one fact: insurance as the safest and cheapest solution, the text offers another key fact as well:
“The low valuation of agricultural production by the insurance companies and the small number of acceptable damages in the insurance list are the most common reasons why farmers are not deciding to take this step and why they are not using the government’s support .”
In addition , the title itself may indicate both a political and commercial bias, in favor of the insurance companies.