If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re in big trouble

It’s been said that we shouldn’t let the current state of politics become “the new normal.”

But are we too late?

There’s a different landscape than when I arrived on Whidbey fresh out of college. During my first weeks as a reporter, I wore a pair of Sperrys wrapped with gray duct tape. When the soles fell off completely, I resorted to a pair of bedroom slippers until I got my first paycheck. I didn’t make much money, and I didn’t expect to. I loved my job, I felt it was a calling.

The articles I wrote didn’t please everyone, but I believed they made a difference. Because I was fair and accurate, and my reporting was based on facts, I could look anyone in the eye that I wrote about.

I also felt a bond with the readers, and I had faith that truth would prevail.

That faith remains, but getting out the facts is now only half the battle for journalists.

Apathy is a pox, spreading through society. Until government action directly affects a person’s pocketbook, or an offense is blatantly illegal or immoral, there’s minimal interest in government accountability at any level, and the facts are no longer enough.

Take Alabama, for example, where being a Democrat is apparently more grossly disturbing than pursuing underage girls at the mall. Party is the priority over propriety and morality, and the growing mountain of evidence doesn’t matter.

Government is supposed to work for the people, and not vice versa, but too many have been gaslighted into believing that the truth is the lie and journalists the enemy.

Unless the truth starts to matter again, we are a society in deep trouble.

Keven R. Graves is executive editor and publisher of the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record. Email questions and comments to him at kgraves@whidbeynewsgroup.com

More in Opinion

Benner
My two cents: Change on council is opportunity to move forward together

First off, let me offer my formal and public congratulations to the… Continue reading

Dave Paul
Sound Off: Our ferry system is vital — and it needs reform

We need better ferry service. As you know, we’ve seen far too… Continue reading

Harry
Rockin’ A Hard Place: Squanto didn’t live on our Rock, but we felt his generous spirit

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, it’s comforting to fall back on that… Continue reading

In our opinion: Everyone should shop local for the holidays

Shopping local is always a good idea everywhere, but this year there… Continue reading

In our opinion: Plans to rebuild Windjammer windmill are overdue

Four years ago, Oak Harbor officials’ decision to raze the windmill in… Continue reading

My Two Cents: Worth more than the paper it’s written on

I have experienced a wonderful time here on the island. From being… Continue reading

Soundoff: Ferry delays are a dire emergency for Whidbey residents

By Island County Commissioner Melanie Bacon Whidbey Island is the largest island… Continue reading

In our opinion: Fleming, Bobis, Salerno are right for Langley council

The best candidates for Langley City Council are relatively easy to identify,… Continue reading

Rockin’ a Hard Place: How teaching on our Rock became a culture war zone

When I was in my senior year of high school several centuries… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: Hoffmire, Mischo, Stucky are right for council

Election season has exposed a rift between Oak Harbor City Council and… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: School board incumbents need voters’ support

The schools need leaders who will work together and get things done, not argue over dogma.

In Our Opinion: Voters should help hospital get back on its feet

Voters should support a levy increase to fund operations at Whidbey Island Public Hospital District.