It’s important to get all the facts

Published 10:40 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2018

One of the most important parts of reporting the news is making sure any and all information published is factual. This is so the credibility of the paper stays high and those who read it can trust that they are getting the correct data.

To do this, writers spend their days researching, taking hunches and ideas and turning them into fact-filled stories that can be easily consumed by the reader. This research includes talking to experts on topics and putting in legwork to make sure that nothing written is based on anything but the hard truth.

This can be an arduous task sometimes, having to try multiple people and get multiple sources to confirm something, but it’s done so that no one gets carried away with incorrect or false info. Even minor falsehoods and rumors can lead to massive misunderstandings, as was demonstrated by the citizens of LaFayette last week.

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The city council chambers were flooded with concerned individuals wanting to speak out against what they thought was a done deal, that being the city’s decision to use a historic cemetery as an entrance to the upcoming park.

After a heartfelt and impassioned speech from Harriet Jones acting as the voice of the people, all eyes were on the council, expecting them to respond in turn with, hopefully, a solution to the issue.

What was not expected, as evident in reactions from the crowd, was the entire council’s bewilderment on the topic, none of them having discussed where the entrance to the park would be placed in any sort of capacity.

The citizens were informed that no decision had been made as to where people could enter the park when it was complete, and that the road running through the cemetery was definitely not a “done deal,” as it was phrased.

Civic engagement is extremely important, so it was good to see so many people showing up over something that they disagreed with. Unfortunately, that showing out was based on a rumor. A fluke. A wild misunderstanding that could have been avoided if some research was done.

A little bit of fact checking goes a long way.