A reporter’s responsibility in a society plastered with fake news


I learned to “fake” when I played sports as a kid. I learned about “news” when I became a newspaper reporter as an adult.

I never thought the two words would combine and enter the national vernacular to be debated endlessly.

Politicians’ reference to fake news is their attempt to discredit news media and persuade the public that only they can distribute accurate information.

I have not worked with or known a reporter who intentionally reports and writes inaccurate information. All try to be accurate, get both sides of the story, and get it right.

The media informs the public about ideas, issues, people, and the governmental policies that affect them.

Active citizens often make decisions and act on that information.

Reporters put in effort to get the story right. When we get it wrong, we print corrections to make it right as best we can.

No one likes to have negative critical information about them published for many people to read, but when politicians or important people make decisions, it is the media’s responsibility to report it — whether it casts them in a positive or negative light.

Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, said, “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.”

Anyone who believes politicians or other people when they refer to accurate news as fake news is contributing to the possibility of losing a free press.

People should be skeptical about what politicians say of the media.