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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Just give me the truth

Truth has been in the news.
Truth, as I was taught by conservative parents and by the Bible, is essential to all human relationships. My father, a businessman, was the most honest man I’ve ever known, alongside my husband.
 
But now truth is not truth, according to some. How has that happened? Whatever has happened to critical thinking?
 
I remember how, about 5-6 years ago, a friend would forward an occasional email with weird info from social media that to us couldn’t possibly be true, and then she would send out another email saying to disregard the previous email after she found out the info was, in fact, misinformation or outright lies.
 
Misinformation, repeated enough, makes most people feel insecure and then, if it continues, it can lead people to distrust whatever entity is being talked about, whether it is public health scientists or scientists of any kind, and especially, the leaders of our government. It can even lead to violence, as we saw on Jan. 6 at the Capitol.
 
What a sad state of affairs. I want to be able to trust my family, my neighbors and my local, state and national leaders. Don’t you? That trust has to be built on truth, not misinformation coming from all kinds of sources that just want to sow havoc or wrest power or, above all, build a fortune for themselves.
 
Some years ago, we never heard the phrase “fake news” because, for the most part, our news media and journalists were trained and honed on the honest presentation of truthful events. Think Edward R. Murrow.
Then someone began an attack on “fake news” and over the years put that lie into the ether where some decided it must be real.
 
Our son, a graduate of the famed UNC Chapel Hill School of Journalism, has been beside himself in recent years, that now, on social media and certain media outlets, anything goes that will get the public to read/listen, and so they can make gobs of money.
 
That’s why my husband and I refuse to participate on social media (who has the time to spend on it when there is so much else better to do?), and we concentrate our news intake to media that focus on truth from all perspectives, like Public Broadcasting (PBS) and National Public Radio.
 
There are multiple sources, like Fact Check, in addition to experts on the topic, where you can get answers on current issues, the truth. Check them out, check out your own internal “truth” and remember the history lessons from school that our democracy cannot survive without truth. Neither can our personal relationships.
Nancy C. Bryant
Norwood