Don't Simplify What Has Happened in China is a book by Chen Xiaochuan, editor-in-chief of China Youth Daily, a newspaper well known for its investigative reporting and pungent commentaries. In the book's foreword, the author says that the life and power of commentaries lies in their rationale and reasoning.
I absolutely agree with him. The popular use of the Internet has provided opportunities for almost all its users to voice their opinions about everything. As a result, there is a vogue for expressing opinions about anyone and anything.
In such circumstances, it is quite easy for people to become cynical about everything. It is understandable for ordinary Internet users to vent their personal feelings and opinions about a public event. But it is dangerous for professional commentators to do so.
As far as my personal experience is concerned, I believe being cynical is dangerous and an opinion writer must guard against it. Cynicism prevents one from looking at an event with an objective eye. It makes one lack balance in judging a particular event.
For example, there is always strong opposition toward the ID based cell phone registration system. There will certainly be some inconveniences for some users if they register their phones with their personal identification cards, but cell phone fraud will be more easily combated with such a system.
The same is true with the use of cameras in public venues. While they will sometimes invade some people's privacy, as far as the investigation of crimes in public venues is concerned, the role of these cameras can never be underestimated. It is definitely unfair to deny the positive role of cameras in public venues by overemphasizing the protection of individual's privacy.
The writer Mark Twain once said: "If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed, but if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed."
It is our job as commentators to interpret events and make sure that our readers are not misinformed.