Understanding the difference between news, analysis, and opinion can help us understand where people are coming from and even help us to change their minds.
Sometimes we only get the information about what happened: The price of X went up 10% today. Sometimes we get the information with some context: The price of X went up 10% today after announcing some good-sounding news. Sometimes we get an opinion of the information and context: The price of X went up 10% today after announcing some good-sounding news that suggests more good news in the future.
Categorically, that’s the difference between news, analysis, and opinion. The news is just the facts, analysis focuses on the relationships between facts, and opinion is a cogent story that fits all of the pieces together.
Professionally, we’re often helping someone bring clarity to something they find confusing, OR we’re introducing nuance to something we’ve found they’re stubbornly attached to. We might hear, “I have no idea what this political stuff means,” OR “I just know this political stuff is going to solve everything.” It’s then our job to figure out how either statement fits into their worldview and their best interest. It’s no easy task, especially when someone believes something we know to be bad for their health (or wealth).
For people who don’t know what something means, we have to help connect news and analysis to an opinion. For people who are certain about something, we can introduce nuance by adding news and analysis to variations in their opinion.
These are always delicate conversations, but when approached this way we make sure to start them with respect for the client’s current worldview. People can go from where they are now to a place they’ve never been, but they can’t go from a place they’ve never been to another place they’ve never been. By understanding news, analysis and opinion, we can better acknowledge where a person currently is and then shepherd them on the path to wherever they are going.