‘MY TWO CENTS’ BY CHRIS FAULKNOR, PUBLISHER
Social media can be fun.
For some, it’s a chance to play Candy Crush and Farmville.
Others enjoy networking with business associates and potential clients.
I know a few out there that have reconnected with old friends, rekindled old flames, and even found love … all through the magical wonder of social media.
There is one thing, however, that social media is not: social media is not, by itself, a news source.
A recent bill in the Michigan legislative process to prevent animal cruelty gained a lot of attention from social media.
You see, if I had listened to people on Facebook, I would be under the impression that this bill was created to make oral and anal sex punishable by 15 years in prison.
You can read about all of the particulars on the front page of the paper you’re holding, but that’s not the point.
It didn’t take too long for a couple of misleading reports online to turn into a wave of misinformation that ended up being shared and re-shared and shared again all over online, around watercoolers and even among some legitimate news agencies.
The point is that you should only believe news that comes from sources you can trust, and Facebook posts by dubious sources shouldn’t be anywhere on that list.
It’s The Boyne City Gazette’s job (mostly Ben, honestly) to put together the news each week, and we take great pride in that work.
I listen as he talks about the many interviews, hours of research, and multiple sources that have gone into his most recent story, and then I compare his story to those of other news sources on the very same issue, and every single time, the stories he writes for the Gazette are more well researched and contain more detail.
But it’s not just discovering new news that we do.
You see, we’re also on rumor patrol.
We dispel myth by proving and disproving as necessary, so that our readers are informed not only about what is true, but what is not true.
So, when Ben learned of the misconceptions about “Logan’s Law” and Michigan Senate Bill 219, many of which were perpetuated by supposedly credible news sources online, a plan of action came into being, because our readers deserve to be informed.
So, what can you learn from the newspaper you’re holding?
You’ll learn about a family in Charlevoix that’s very thankful to live in a loving community.
You’ll learn about a sweet young girl I once knew—a girl I and many others miss very much.
Perhaps you’ll read about the recent school board meeting and the disagreements that ensued concerning sports booster foundation moneys.
I know one thing for sure, though: after you read the story about the animal cruelty bill, you may think twice before you trust Facebook the next time around.