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He said, she said, they said…

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Sometimes it’s hard to know whom to believe.

You hear a colleague talk about her students making all the content decisions, and then you have her kids in a workshop….and that’s not the way they tell it. You think you know who did all the work on that fantastic layout….and then someone tells you what went on behind the scenes. Or horror stories circulate about some nasty administrator….and then you learn what he says the student journalists did or didn’t do.

That said, let’s be clear this has NOTHING to do with any specific situation, past or present. It’s an accumulation of situations over the years, and it isn’t aimed at anyone or anything.

This is simply a reminder that just about every story has more than one side. In fact, it may have lots and lots of sides, and hearing only one of them may not be enough. Don’t jump to conclusions. The first version you get may not be the closest to reality, and it may take hearing a variety of viewpoints, weighing them carefully, before you can reach your own conclusion.

After all, good journalists want balanced information. They need to know what he said and she said and they said in an attempt to find the truth.

Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE

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