By Karla Pomeroy
Editor 

Karla's Kolumn - Reporting real news daily

 

October 7, 2017



National Newspaper Week 2017 ends today. This year’s theme is “Real Newspapers … Real News.” There’s been a lot of talk this year, thanks mostly in part to President Donald Trump, about “fake news.”

So what is real and what is fake and can we differentiate between the two.

The chairman of this year’s National Newspaper Week, Tom Newton, says Americans can know the difference.

He stated in his opening for NNW, “This year’s theme for National Newspaper Week – ‘Real Newspapers … Real News’ – couldn’t be more fitting to frame the question: Do Americans have the tools necessary to decide for themselves what is real, what is factual and what is necessary for self-government to endure and the country to prosper?

“I submit that they do. The tools are American newspapers, dailies and weeklies, printed and delivered to American doorsteps [and mailboxes] and accessed on laptops, tablets and smart phones. Real newspapers in all their formats are created by real journalists, and that’s the key.”


The Northern Wyoming Daily News is a real newspaper, publishing real news. We publish stories from reliable sources. Real news is factual, truthful. It is not gossip, it is not fabricated. It is not rumor or innuendo.

This year we’ve had people ask why we didn’t print some stories sooner and I told one caller that we don’t print rumors. Sometimes we wait, longer than our readers may like us to, because we want to make sure we print facts not rumors. Sometimes it’s hard to get a hold of sources who actually know the information. Sometimes those sources won’t go on the record. For 99 percent of our stories we want named sources.

If a report or court document is mentioned from a source then we want to see the report for ourselves, see the court document ourselves.

I used to try and set the record straight on all the misinformation on social media but I realized it’s a full-time job and too big for just one person so I gave up. The “fake news” that abounds on the internet and social media is one of the reasons the Associated Press started a weekly “Not Real News” report and why we strive to run it weekly in our Saturday issue.

There are many fake news sites and satire news sources out there like the Onion and the Casper Planet, but not everyone realizes that they are just that — fake news. It’s important to know what you are reading and if it is a reliable or from a real news source, like real newspapers.


There are many fake news stories, stories that are totally made up or fabricated, but what is not fake news is news that you don’t like. Just because you don’t like a story, or because you may disagree with the information, or because you’re mad that the information is now public, does not make it fake.

Years ago when I worked in Lovell I was reporting on a lawsuit filed against one of the school districts. I called the superintendent for a comment. He thanked me for the call but noted he could not comment. He appreciated I was reporting a factual story and trying to get both sides. It wasn’t fake news, it was real and I was trying to be fair. That’s real news.

During coverage of one trial in Big Horn County, while I was trying to be unbiased and write my stories as such, working for a weekly, you publish once a week. In a trial the prosecution side goes first and I was afraid my stories would seem skewed toward one side.

After publishing the stories I entered the courthouse and received positive comments from both sides. The stories accurately depicted what had occurred at the trial. That’s what I was aiming for in my reporting. That’s real news.

What also is not fake news is typographical errors. We strive to report the facts and the truth. We strive for accuracy and we may make a mistake or have a typographical error. That doesn’t make it fake news.

In today’s newspaper we have stories about an upcoming colon cancer awareness event, a look at bump-stocks including information from local businesses, a follow-up to a public lands meeting. Earlier this week we published stories on the WHS lockout, the Ten Sleep council meeting, the Worland City Council meeting, the Washakie County Commissioners meeting. It’s all real news, reported fair and truthfully.

So in a world full of “fake news” rest assured that the Northern Wyoming Daily News is a real newspaper reporting real news.

 
 

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