Seeking truth and reporting it

By Cliff McCollum
Posted 6/30/17

Earlier this week, I had an interaction with a local resident while filling up my car at a gas station on the Eastern Shore, wherein the resident called me a lovely seven-letter word and a bad writer …

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Seeking truth and reporting it

Posted

Earlier this week, I had an interaction with a local resident while filling up my car at a gas station on the Eastern Shore, wherein the resident called me a lovely seven-letter word and a bad writer in referencing some of my writing and articles for my work in The Courier.

This marks the second time this year such a thing has happened to me, as a similar event occurred at the Elberta Sausage Festival in March regarding some of my previous coverage on their city.

What they called me does not bother me. Those of us in the media have learned to have a thick skin when it comes to criticism, especially these days.

I’ve often said that in this business, love and hate are both equal to me.

If something I’ve written has prompted you to have an emotional response, happy or angry, then I feel good about that. It’s those that either choose to ignore things or are willfully indifferent that vex me.

My job, and the job of all journalists, should be to seek the truth and report it.

That is our highest calling, and in all things I do in my role here, that is the goal I always aspire to reach.

Sometimes, you may love what I write. Other times, you may want to call for my head on a pike in the town square. That duality is good, and I welcome it — although perhaps not the beheading.

To paraphrase contestants on every reality show since the beginning of that ghastly trend, I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to bring you news and information.

I can assure you that Cliff McCollum and all of our editors and writers here do our best to try to simply present information to you, the public, and allow you to make up your own minds as to what that information means.

There is no agenda, no deliberate malice — what is there is a steadfast commitment to bringing you the best truthful information we can when we can.

I’m not certain what provokes women of a certain age to feel the need to name call me in public settings, but I’ll take that reaction over a noncommittal shrug any day of the week.

What I am certain of is this — our papers here at Gulf Coast Media will continue to be beacons of truth in this county for as long as there is ink in our pens.

I’m reminded of a quote from one of my favorite presidents, Harry S. Truman, whenever things like this occur.

“I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.”

We’re going to keep telling the truth, so, please, keep reading.