We have addressed this issue in the past — both in this space and in our editor’s column — but we feel the need to do so again.
Fast doesn’t always mean factual in the news business.
A report from a Wichita television station last week suggested the Dodge City Law owners had skipped town, cleaning out their offices and walking away from the community.
The reporter was acting on a tip called into the station, but in the zeal to get a scoop, there was little factual in the story put on the station’s website.
However, in this day of instant news and instant reaction, it caused quite a stir in and around Dodge City.
The owners of the Dodge City Law had left town on a vacation during the Independence Day holiday. Yet, people on social media assumed the worst of the team owners and blasted away, just taking the report at face value.
We’ve seen in the past how taking something posted and running with it can be harmful, but this was a trusted media company that should know better. A reporter didn’t totally check the information given to her and, when she tried to verify the story, there was no verification to be had.
The original report was pulled and a fairer, corrected story was offered. Our point is the second story should have been the only story.
Someone suggested we weren’t working on a story. The truth is, we were waiting for our verification before doing so. We often know things we can’t print due to legal reasons. We have tons of information, but none of which are printable without someone going on the record.
This protects us and the people we write about. It also protects our readers from getting false information.
When we say we’re fair, we are. We may not be the fastest with a scoop, but we will always be the news you can trust. We prefer factual to fast any day of the week.