Editorial: Don’t jump to conclusions

People are too eager to spread bad news without all the information

People are so quick to jump to conclusions whether they have all the facts or not. Sometimes they skim over an item and don’t fully read it or even ask for clarification. Take for example the recent “breaking” business news that the Sooke Harbour House was going under through foreclosure. Was there some truth in it – yes. Was the reporter too quick to get the “news” out there? Yes. In her rush to print the story she neglected to get all  of the facts from the owners. This caused anxiety and stress to the owners, investors and staff when it wasn’t necessary to rush that story into print. Research was needed and should have been done.

Are we so anxious to get the word out that we neglect to check the facts?

This happens in newspapers and digital media and it also happens on-line on places like Facebook. Facebook is an amazing medium for sharing news but what is missing much of the time is fact. People glance at a story and paste their comments up immediately and on and on it goes like a hydra which was in classical mythology a water or marsh serpent with nine heads, each of which, if cut off, grew back as two. There is harm in this. Facebook and other on-line sites are powerful mediums and not everything you may read on there is true. Just watch what happens on these on-line sites as the federal election approaches. We cannot afford to lose judgement and reason and fair reporting. Sensationalism seems to be what people gravitate to and why is that? Are our lives so boring that we need to read about other people’s troubles?

We need to give thought to what we post, to the letters we write and to what we say to others. We are all opinionated people for better or worse and wouldn’t it be nice if it was for the better.