Ed note: I made no secret of the fact that I didn't support Florio's bid for council. I also made no secret about admitting I was wrong. He belongs at that table, in my opinion. But this is what he has to say, and in our editorial opinion, he's spot-on ~ Kyra
At UBCM last week, the keynote speaker was Terry Milewski from CBC News. He spoke about journalism, Fake News and social media, in particular Facebook.
He told the crowd that people are not entitled to their own facts. "There is no equivalency between an opinion and a fact,” he said. “Speak up - be eloquent about the primacy of facts.”
He went on to discuss how important it is that we all support local news. It costs very little, but the cost of a declining free press and the attack on real journalism should be a concern to everyone. He went on to say that “Only 13% of humanity lives in a country with a free press.” “For 11 years in a row, freedom has decreased in the world.”
Fact check before posting and reposting. Speak up and call it out. Turning a blind eye or blindly believing does a disservice to the hard work being done, not only by journalists, but also by the people in public service.
It is absolutely important to hold your elected representatives to account. In fact, it is your duty. You are entitled to have an opinion based on your own philosophical principles of how to proceed from a given data set. Do your homework, ask the questions and agree or disagree… it’s all good. This is democracy. But we should all have the deepest desire to start a conversation from the same place - that is with the same background information and a respect of the facts.
Let’s not make fake news, here on Facebook or at the local coffee shop. Look at where it got our neighbours.