Newspapers will survive because of truth

Published 9:30 pm Friday, April 7, 2017

I think there will come a day when newspapers will return as the major source of news, and I am not saying this just because I work in the industry.

Like form and fashion, what is old many times becomes new again.

However, for now, modern technology seems to be folks’ number one resource for information.

I am not saying I want to see social media disappear, but unless these sources begin to become more responsible with their dissemination of factual news, I am afraid that we may be heading down a rabbit’s hole.

Before I came to work at The Vicksburg Post, I took a class in Jackson that was taught by the editor of the Jackson Free Press.

Donna Ladd was an awesome teacher, and for those students interested in trying their hand at writing for a paper, she offered many opportunities.

I jumped on the chance to be published and found out very quickly writing a story is so much more than a catchy lead.

And when it came to fact checking, Ladd was like a boot camp sergeant.

I wrote a little piece for her newspaper, which included some recipes from Vicksburg residents, and she went behind me and called all my sources.

At first, I took offense that she did not trust me, but then I realized that reporters should not fear being checked behind if they have done their job.

This was a valuable lesson that I appreciated learning, and I continue to work diligently, making sure to be as accurate as humanly possible with my stories.

I think people still desire accuracy, but it seems we are becoming lazy.

We have become so acclimated to instant gratification in our fast-paced culture, shocking news seems more important than factual news.

And for Pete’s sake, we all need to stop being so naïve and quit thinking everything we read on Facebook is the truth.

Just because someone may have access to a cell phone does not mean they are a reliable source of information. And with this unrelenting cycle of misinformation that is pumped out on social media, I feel our psyches are being impaired.

Before long we will have digested so much inaccurate or trumped up news, we may no longer know how to separate reality from fabrication and will wind up becoming complacent.

In order for truths to be revealed, questions have to be asked, and sources must be fact checked.

We live in a time where being spoon-fed is too dangerous.

It is time for us to recalibrate and expect the truth, and sometimes that may mean reading and rereading something that is not scrolled through with a flick of a finger.  It needs to sink in and take hold.

And then maybe we can more clearly separate fact from fiction.

Newspapers have been around for more than 300 years in America, and I hope they will be around for many more.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at terri.frazier@vicksburgpost.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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