So how can one be both truthful and kind as a writer and as a human being? It's not always easy and sometimes you unfortunately can't be both at the same time. In my opinion, here are at least some of the things that you should usually consider:
1. Be informed and know how things really are.
One of the things that I have learned over the course of years is that I need to do my due diligence. If I want to be truthful, I need to know what I'm talking about. This means that I need to learn and pay attention to the subject matter in question.
The more you know, the easier it becomes to give an opinion. Also, being an 'expert' on something makes you more relaxed and less emotional. The more you know, the more people are likely going to respect your opinions.
2. Try not to get personal - get rid of your ego.
It's not exactly a secret that the bigger your ego gets, the worse your behavior in most cases is going to get. The best way for things to stay at least somewhat professional is to be constantly aware of our weaknesses and flaws.
In all fairness, sometimes it might be somewhat understandable that things get a bit personal. That means that you won't be particularly nice about the things that you're saying. In these cases, you should make sure that what you're saying is the truth.
3. It doesn't hurt to be funny and entertaining.
The best get-out-of-jail-free card is that you keep the entertainment values high. Nobody likes a person who doesn't have a sense of humor. It sure helps to keep things positive when you manage to entertain your audience at the same time.
For example, Bill Hicks was able to get away with just about anything. Very few people think that the things that he said were actually mean. He was brutally honest but since he managed to also entertain us, he was able to win us over.
4. Defend those who deserve it.
When I write a critique of a television show, I'm thinking about the folks at home that deserve to be entertained. If the show isn't any good, my responsibility is to be completely honest about it. I'm supposed to inform you what's wrong and why.
I'm not supposed to defend those people who are responsible for producing those shows. They get paid no matter how bad those shows are. I'm suppose to defend those viewers at home (millions). Nothing is more cruel than sucking up to those in power for access.
5. Easy targets are sometimes too easy.
If I wanted to, I could write every week about all those terrible shows that are genuinely beyond awful. Since there are only a few quality shows on television at the moment, there are like hundreds of bad shows that I could critique all year long.
Yet, I don't think there's any point in that. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel. It gets boring really fast and nobody likes a person who keeps repeating the same thing over and over again. Don't be too negative when it's not required.
6. Say it like it is.
Many times I'm afraid of writing because I'm worried that I'm not being nice enough. I'm afraid that people are going to get mad at me. I kinda feel that I should keep my mouth shut so that nobody would have negative feelings towards me.
Yet, once I've tried my best to be truthful about the subject matter in question, it becomes usually apparent that what I wrote might have some actual value. It doesn't look as bad as I thought it would look and it's not as personal as I thought it would be.
7. Don't expect to be rewarded.
Finally, this is a thing that can't be stressed enough. Whenever you say something to anyone, no matter how well you said it and no matter how truthful and kind you were, don't expect that they should now give you something back in return.
The biggest reward for being a truthful and a kind person in all its simplicity is that you are an honest and a kind person. If that doesn't pay you off at some point in life, then so be it. In many cases however, good things will eventually happen to you.