Story Hunters


Fake News
Possibly fake news

Folks, do you have any idea of how much work goes into getting stories for this paper each day?

Well, I do. Now.

Here, deep in The Observer bunker, my dedicated, actually make that obsessed, workmates are on the job early each morning, tracking down people for statements, confirming facts or following up information they may have been told the night before in the pub, a restaurant, a party, a meeting a chat with a friend or something they saw on social media.

Now, there are people in our town who have quite a lot to say about reporters skimming Facebook and Twitter for stories. But, my question to them is, where would you go to find out what’s happening in our neck of the woods?

Well, obviously, after reading the paper.

The thing is, for a variety of reasons, people generally don’t spend all day hanging out gossiping in pubs, shops and cafés like they used to.

Today most folk prefer to share their news, views, opinions, events and questions in the online market place. Now, you may be shocked to read this, but not everything we see on social media is true, or factual.

I know, I’m just as appalled.

So, our job is to track down the sources and confirm what’s true, reject what’s fake, then report the facts as best we can, along with our real names.

You’d be surprised at how often an interesting story fizzles out before our eyes when we starting asking the right questions. Or it may die a lingering death because we can’t get a response, or the people we’ve contacted refuse to comment.

“Tracking down and reporting the facts is not as easy as you think,” said Mr. Anon Source who did not wish to be identified, quoted or photographed.

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