As of Wednesday, October 4, 2017
What a somber start to the month, with multiple deaths in Polk County from car accidents, as reported in last week’s paper, to a mass shooting in Las Vegas that affects us all as we mourn with victims and their loved ones, to communities still recovering from massive hurricanes.
This week marks National Newspaper Week. These tragedies are a reminder of the role that newspapers play in our community, and in other communities at large. With the use of Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, Facebook and Reddit, the wrong news can surface quickly. As the events from Las Vegas unfolded, someone tweeted there were multiple shooters. Stories with incorrect information about the shooter spread quickly on social media. Numerous rumors were spread as if they were news without accountability that comes from being a professional member of the press.
Local newspapers, with a staff of local reporters and sales representatives, know they will be held accountable by their readers and advertisers every day. We live, work and play in our community. We will see you in the grocery store — and we are confident you will tell us when we get it wrong.
This local accountability helps us focus on getting it right before getting it first.
But it does require some patience and investment from you, our readers. We don’t know every answer, but we know who to call to get it. We don’t sit and monitor the scanner all day, but we are happy to follow up. And you can bet we won’t be spreading fake news about breaking stories.