The Real Truth
With today’s instant news, and the modern avenues we have to get the news or our opinions out, we know that good news travels fast, and bad news even faster. With all the emails, blogs and social media users today, it is very easy to get a story out and to get people informed about that story. When that story is not entirely true, or when some parts are left out, it is hard to get the real truth out when it’s competing with the aftershock.
As we have found out here at the Roundup time and time again, there are always two or more sides to a story, and they may all be true, or some may have a spin on them or be just plain wrong. More often than not, if there are errors in the story, it is not intentional, but simply how that person first read or heard the story. But there are also times – and we’ve all done it – that we just heard the story wrong. A good example is the emails we all get about a politician or someone from the government, and about half the time they’re just plain wrong. Luckily we in Wyoming know our elected officials are honest and don’t put a lot of spin on things, but with our current administration and some of those in Congress, half the time the stories turn out to be true, especially regarding the EPA.
Early last week we all saw the issue that dealt with food safety and regulations from the Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) on Facebook. While the background was correct, some of the facts were not, WDA said, and of course some people got pretty riled up, and unnecessarily, I think.
I’m not sure I or others know all the true facts on this issue. We all know it’s easy to get upset at government – local, state or federal – but the true facts should prevail. In the past we have seen misinformation on the beef checkoff, conservation easements and now food safety. Along with other issues, they are all highly controversial issues for agriculture with the true facts, and we sure don’t need misinformation about them, as they are important issues to everyone. Once you read the real facts, you should be able to make up your mind either way.
Here at the Roundup we try really hard to print the truth. We are not perfect, of course, and we do goof up now and then, but it is our intent to print only the true facts. If we get a Letter to the Editor with misinformation, we respond back to the writer and try to get the facts corrected. It’s great the writer has an opinion on the issue, but that opinion should be based on true facts so as to not lead our readers astray.
I feel that, if a person is a writer for a newspaper, magazine or blog or is using Facebook to write about an issue, they need to have the true facts. We know most of the misinformation is not intentional, but just remember how the radicals have hurt us through the animal treatment movement and the “pink slime” issue, which, in the end, really hurt the livestock industry badly. Never assume the obvious is true.