Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

COLUMN: Question everything, including this column

We are all fallible, don’t trust those that act otherwise

Opinions are tricky beasts.

Needing to have a hard take in a local paper on weekly basis is certainly not a burden, but it can be a delicate dance in ensuring that the opinion stated is not just a rehash of submitted material from a political party or another.

What I try to do in this column is to ensure I am not simply reprinting the opinion of a politician I personally agree with. The reason for this is public officials, to one degree or another, will always misrepresent the truth and blindly following anyone — regardless if your views and theirs generally align – is a folly for our democracy.

Public support, in essence, is a market and politicians job is to buy your support. By supporting anyone without question, voters are essentially selling themselves cheap.

When columnists reprint party lines, they are they essentially doing politicians work for them and that should never be the job of a journalist.

Bias exists. Every writer, journalist, editor politician, teacher, nurse, engineer and any other person you know on earth carries their bias with them, but the job of journalists should be to help people question absolutely everything while always recognizing and addressing their own bias.

No solution in our society is ever as simple as a politician will make it sound and assuming that anyone has a perfect answer is letting taxpayer elected public officials off the hook.

Politicians take and are responsible public dollars and are therefore open to constant public scrutiny of how those funds are used. This means that it is important we as a society don’t simply settle for ideological similarities between ourselves and our representatives.

It is important that all opinions are expressed in our society, but it also is important to ensure that opinions expressed are self-aware of their own bias.

This is where I strive to be and if I fail to address my own bias, I hope that readers will call me out.

Essentially, it is important for writers to recognize their own fallibility and have their work represent that accordingly. By stating opinion as irreproachable fact, journalists and columnist do a disservice to their readers.

I make mistakes, politicians make mistakes — everyone makes mistakes. To present a worldview without room for error is an affront to the intelligence of us all and this is why we need to continue to question why we think a certain way.

Realistically — I have my opinion, but I always could have a wrong one. If anyone sells you something different than that — your suspicion should be triggered.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Lacombe FCSS forced to scale back programming

Alberta Ministry of Children’s Services announced the termination of a number of programs

PHOTO: AA Lacombe Generals support Food Bank

Food donations and $127 dollars raised

AHS: Spread joy, not germs: stay healthy this holiday season

More than 660 cases of influenza have been confirmed in Alberta

Red Deer-Lacombe MP, other Conservative MPs meet with AB justice minister

Calkins said the justice system is a revolving door for criminals targeting rural areas

WATCH: CP Holiday Train supports Lacombe Food Bank

Madeline Merlo and JUNO Award nominee Scott Helman both performed

Day parole revoked for man who strangled wife, buried body in their Calgary home

Parole Board revoked Allan Shyback’s day parole after he had sex with a massage parlour worker

Alberta plans to reduce surgery wait-times by building operating rooms, using private clinics

Health minister says goal is to have 80,000 more surgeries done over the next 3 1/2 years

Sylvan Lake woman charged with fraud over $500,000

Rimbey RCMP launched an investigation in July 2019 with the suspect turning herself in on Aug. 30

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

No jail but big fine for Alberta store owner convicted of illegal gun sales

At the conclusion of Monday’s hearing, the Crown stayed the remainder of the charges against the father

Anti-money laundering agency warns casinos to watch gamers playing with bank drafts

Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, known as Fintrac, issues operational alert

China hints at national security trials for 2 Canadians detained for one year

The two Canadians’ detention is largely seen as retaliation for the arrest of a Huawei exec

Teen seriously injured: Police in Lethbridge, Alta., charge 5 people in swarming

Police say a 16-year-old boy made arrangements to meet with a young woman before he was attacked

Most Read