When I was young I quickly recognized when mom or dad shared an opinion. The tone was different. There was a sense of ownership, a heartfelt conviction. It revealed itself further when I observed their actions.
Actions, and words, written and spoken, are born of heartfelt, deeply held convictions. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and the fingers type.
Though surrounded by very liberal minded people (I was the youngest in the clan of Scotts) I was always encouraged to seek out the truth. To find facts and form opinions based on those facts. At a young age I read the local newspaper wherever we lived. No, not just the Sunday comics where I always gravitated to conservative-esque strips like “Peanuts” and “B.C.” or just the hilarious and politically spiked “Wizard of Id”, but all week long.
I read the newspapers; I watched the local news. I learned quickly why the “Op-Ed” page was distinctly different and why the station manager did his commentary at the end of the newscast, not as part of the newscast.
Although I cannot pinpoint exactly when it happened, it happened. The line got blurred. The distinction between reporting and opinion became lost in the maelstrom of what is now called the main stream media (MSM).
Today, fact finding is a lost art. Newspapers routinely allow editors to write opinion in headlines. Articles are frequently filled with bias and more opinion. Stories are killed or worse, ignored, because it does make for good walks in the park or, perhaps, business with local government that pours in much needed money for public notices and the like. Actual reporting on things that shape the lives of citizens is not important when compared to sitting on boards and hob-knobbing about a community.
Recent events (over the last few years) have finally crystallized the problem. There was a time when working for a newspaper was a lonely profession. In that regard it’s not that dissimilar to being in ministry. The calling, or job, of a minister is to speak the truth of God’s Word. It can be comforting while not always being comfortable. Though a pastor spends a lot of time with congregants, a pastor must maintain the ability to always speak truth, so there is always a line. For a true newspaper person it must be the same.
A publisher, an editor, a reporter must be out among the people, but the calling, or job, requires the ability to always tell the truth, report the facts. To cover stories and let the chips fall where they may. That requires a line of separation.
In just two issues of Tallahassee Reports you have been handed factual information of local importance to your day-to-day life. There is now a newspaper in our region that will report the facts. It will leave the commentary to these designated pages and it is here where you will find opinion and, yes, there’s an online edition for the digitally inclined. I encourage you to support this effort. Subscribe or advertise. Business owners I assure you that this paper is going into the hands of people who will appreciate, you know what I mean, your presence in Tallahassee Reports.
It is here…now…this is what so many of you have been waiting for, hoping for…a choice.