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.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Lacombe Chamber annual Scholarship winners unveiled

Successful applicants for 2019 are Bryna Figursky and Aden Grose

Lacombe’s Morrison House Cafe to close Aug. 30

Morrison House recently celebrated 100 years in Lacombe

UPDATE: Four Lacombe athletes named to Team Canada Ringette team

Team Canada will compete at World Championships in November

City of Lacombe council highlights – Aug. 12

Next scheduled council meeting is Sept. 9

WATCH: Lacombe Days parade rolls through city

Hundreds turn out for annual tradition

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

What could be next? Five questions in the SNC-Lavalin saga

Will police lay charges? Will report resonate with voters? Will Jody Wilson-Raybould get re-elected?

Alberta government strikes panel to advise on wage cut for alcohol servers

Panel is tasked with consolidating existing studies on the effects of a minimum-wage increase

‘Tips on steroids:’ Social media both a help, hurdle for Canadian police investigations

More than 1,000 tips were received by police in the hunt for fugitives Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky

B.C. homicide victim’s brother says he may never know why she was killed

Stetson Deese the family is preparing for the possibility they’ll be left in the dark on motive

Most Read