As a philosopher by training, I feel like you’re buttering me up with a question like this. I have a lot to say here, but a Medium article is not really the place for a debate about truth (I don’t think).

What I will say is this. The first example you gave about the Pope is (by all appearances) a descriptive statement. It reports that something took place, and it can be proven or disproven easily by pointing to that event having happened or not happened.

The second example you gave is more normative in nature. There is a statement about value, and a connotation. But technically, semantically, it seems descriptive. So that gets tough.

That being said, I think that the major worry in news regarding truth is like the first kind. Did X actually happen? Did Y really say that about Z?

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Author of “The Wabi-Sabi Way” and “Be, Think, Do”. Subscribe to my newsletter “Woolgathering”:

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