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Talking it over: Don't believe everything

Last week as I was leaving a meeting, someone walked by me and said "not everything you put in the paper is true." At first I was shocked as I walked away without responding but later I thought, "Of course not everything in the paper is true, who ever said it was?"

While I try very hard to publish things in a truthful and accurate manner, there are times when I simply don't have all the facts, something is reported at a meeting inaccurately or is interpreted in a different way. In most of these cases, there is nothing that can be done unless the facts are brought to light and a correction or clarification is requested.

Do you believe everything you see on television? Do you take as the honest truth things that you read in a book or magazine? Is the news you hear at a coffee shop or on the street always 100 percent true? If you read an advertisement or get a special offer in the mail, do you believe everything as it is presented. Of course not, and as with each of these, you need to use your own judgement when considering the facts as you see them and the ones you don't.

I attend a lot of meetings. There are many things brought up at those meetings and quite often only one side of the issue is presented. I can only report on what takes place at the meeting and not speculate as to how someone else would interpret the issue.There are also cases where issues have been discussed prior to the meeting or in closed session and I am only "in on" the final decision with no background offered.

Many of the meetings and discussions get lengthy. I do my best to shorten them and present both sides of the issue, giving equal weight to each view. However, it is quite often the case that one side is much more verbal with very little said from the opposing side. There have also been times when I try to diffuse some heated debates by not using specific quotes made at these meetings especially if they are defamatory.

I am being truthful when I say that I try my best to present things in an accurate manner. I don't set out to lead people astray or give false information. I usually have my articles checked by someone else from the meetings to make sure they are accurate. I hope that I am at least accurate 99 percent of the time.

I know that the person who made this comment to me will never believe what I am writing or that I apologize if there was something written inaccurately. All I can say is that when things come out and you know it is not true, please contact me so that a correction or clarification can be made. I am far from being all-knowing, all-seeing and always right and I will be the first to admit it. Most of the time, I am just the messenger converying the views and discussions of others.