These are the days of uncertainty, yet there has never been a greater need for facts. By facts I don’t mean the usual round of opinion gracing the columns of social media, but good, hard, indisputable facts.
I know it’s not currently fashionable to appreciate journalism. After all, why would anyone need the actual facts of a story, palatable or otherwise, when you could seek out pages and pages of words that would support your own opinion?
Yet that’s what’s happening. We are not opening ourselves up to opinions that we may not, on first glance, agree with. It’s become quite an ordeal for some people to wade through column after column of balanced reporting in the hope they’ll find the bits they like.
In Blackpool over the last few years, we’ve got used to absolutely everything being up for debate. That’s fine, IF that debate is tempered with FACTS.
Night after night though, you’ll have noticed, there are armies of contributors to social media and websites who would quite happily pass off opinion as fact. This is where, I believe, journalism is needed to net it all down to just the facts.
The Gazette along with colleagues in broadcasting are lucky enough to have direct access to those who make the decisions. Before the stories reach you (at which point we ask your opinion), we’ve invariably had to clear every single line as factual and correct. The obvious example of this, of course, is court reporting. We are given the rules by which we can report court stories. There are, in some cases, restrictions imposed on what we can and cannot report. “Name and shame him!” shout the social media threads. No, we can’t, because we only report the facts available.
Next week, there’ll be the big announcement over Central Station (pictured). We’ll be there at the launch for you. We know you can’t be there yourself, so we’ll write it up for you. With the facts, you can then debate it all.
There has never been a more important time to wait for the actual facts. The Gazette or the radio will get them to you as quickly as we can. When you read them, you’ll know that’s ALL we know, and that it is the truth.