Chalk it up to “eclipse energy,” or Mercury in retrograde, or summer exhaustion, or back to school madness, but last week was a rough one for errors.
My logical brain knows that’s going to happen from time to time. Major newspapers devote entire sections to corrections every day.
There are typos, and factual corrections, and human misunderstandings, and forgotten details, and last minute info that comes in after deadline that has to be corrected after the ink is dry. It traumatizes my emotional brain (and my reporters).
No one I know makes mistakes on purpose. Reporters don’t choose to use the wrong (often subjectively defined) word in a story, or leave out important details, but it happens. We’re human and fallible.
Does having to make a correction on a story make us “fake news”? On the contrary, I think it actually makes us REAL news. Real news (like the real people who share the news) is willing to admit fault, make corrections, and amend stories to reflect updated information.
Fake news (and fake people), by contrast, insist they’re right no matter what facts are revealed. Fake news clings to whatever it has said, right or wrong, and never admits fault or seeks to correct an error. Real news is humble enough to run a correction, not insist that an error is just an “alternative fact.”
In the words of Thomas Merton, “Pride makes us artificial. Humility makes us real.”
I stood outside Monday during the eclipse with a couple dozen other downtown folks, staring into the sky (with appropriate eyewear, of course). It was nice to see the eclipse through official eclipse glasses (thank you, Patti and Jill, for sharing), although my pinhole in a piece of paper worked, too.
Speaking of traffic, I canceled an appointment in Glenwood this week because I don’t want to deal with #bridgemageddon. Honestly, if there were ever a time to promote Rio Blanco County tourism, this is it. Come to Meeker! Come to Rangely! We have no traffic! (Waiting for three cars doesn’t count.)
We’re looking for fresh ideas for feature stories. What stories do you want to see? Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions. I can’t guarantee we’ll cover them all, but I’d like to know what you want to read about.