How do we percieve opinions?

I think the first thing to note with this story is that CNN posted this as an opinion piece. Which brings me to my first point, why didn’t CNN examine the role of WikiLeaks in the Tunisian revolution as a news story? When readers come across opinion pieces they tend to be less interested in reading them and more likely to overlook them because an opinion isn’t news.

The writer of this story isn’t some hack spewing crazy theories, he is a well respected member of a think tank. He has the credentials to be a source on this issue for a story that is perceived as news. In fact Maha Azzam has actually been cited in CNN’s news coverage on Egypt. Unfortunately because the story is an opinion piece CNN’s readers are less likely to be inclined to care much about it because an opinion does not have to be rooted in fact.

Does that make this story any less important? Despite being an opinion piece this story has several links to back up Azzam’s argument, but it doesn’t have any links connected to the statistics or quotes he refers to. So as a reader what are we supposed to believe?

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