“Truth is discoverable, but seldom discovered” goes an old adage journalists (and citizens) would do well to pay more attention to.
Truth, the facts, is what we reporters strive for..and, in almost all cases, we in turn are dependent on what others, our “sources” tell us. If our source is wrong, we are wrong.
For example: when the news of Kim Davis’ surprising meeting with the Pope came out, it was largely based on what her attorney, Mat Staver, told reporters. But, turns out he hadn’t been there and was repeating what others, who were, supposedly told him. He got much of it wrong, at least according to later reports from a priest who had been there, and reporters had to backtrack and try to get the facts right. (Turns out this wasn’t the first time Mr. Staver had gotten his facts wrong, and his credibility has suffered..and so does that of reporters who relied too heavily upon him.)
Sources are human and often let their personal beliefs or opinions influence what they tell reporters as “facts.”
The sheriff in Roseburg, Oregon, let his beliefs stand in the way of doing his job (as Kim Davis did also.) He refused to tell reporters who the shooter was, so he wouldn’t be “glorified.” I know of no reporter who would report this tragic story in a way to glorify the shooter..but the sheriff was trying to make sure we wouldn’t. Not his job.
Take the mess in Louisville...where charges have been made of prostitutes and drugs being used by a Cardinal’s staffer to influence basketball players to come to U of L. First, this story is in its very early stages and we would all do well to withhold judgment until more facts are in. Second, this is based on a book written by the alleged “madam” involved (with an experienced reporter.) How reliable is she as a source? (see today’s/Monday’s Courier-Journal story: “Profile of a madam in scandal: How much is true?” for the best reporting—so far—knowing that more must come later.)
The fact that her book is written for money doesn’t bother me much; most books are written for money but the basic question is that of the headline---How much is true?
And here readers, listeners, and viewers need to remind themselves..how much of my beliefs, my like or dislike of Pitino and his program will color how I receive this story.
“Truth is discoverable, but seldom discovered.” Please keep that in mind, whether it be Kim Davis, Pope Francis, a sheriff, or the Louisville Madam….and maybe say a prayer for reporters who truly struggle, in most cases, to get the Truth right, under difficult circumstances.
I'm just sayin'...