The truth is not as simple as it seems

So here’s a reality of the explosion of information that we all live with today: it is now more difficult than ever — not easier — to discern the truth.

Twenty-two years later, some things haven’t changed

Early morning, June 2, 1999. I remember exactly where I was at and what I was doing. More on that later.

A healthy, diverse media landscape is a good thing

We who live in Western North Carolina are fortunate in many ways. We know that. It’s a beautiful place with a vibrant economy populated by interesting people from all over. It’s easy to commune with friends at a brewery or restaurant (adhering to covid restrictions) or slip away to the woods in the East Coast’s largest wilderness area.

SMN brings home 26 N.C. Press Awards

The Smoky Mountain News team won 26 editorial awards in the 2020 North Carolina Press Association News and Editorial Contest. 

Who can you trust to tell the truth?

Another poll, another reality check for the media: Americans don’t trust us. The question that comes to mind, for me, is who does the public does trust for reporting the news? 

A Gallup poll released late last year revealed that 60 percent of Americans don’t think the media accurately and fairly reports the news, and 33 percent have absolutely no trust or confidence in the media. Finally, a whopping 27 percent have “not very much” trust in mass media (newspapers, television and radio).

Cost-saving measure could lead to less government transparency

A bill in the North Carolina General Assembly that would allow local governments to stop publishing mandated legal notices in newspapers may save cash-strapped local governments a small amount of money in advertising expenses each year, but could also lead to citizens missing out on critical information while also damaging local newsrooms. 

Transparency concerns surround Council casino discussions

When the Cherokee Tribal Council waded through its final hours of discussion — and, ultimately, a vote — on the $280 million decision to move forward with the Indiana casino purchase, few tribal members saw them do it. 

Newspaper story fuels tumultuous Waynesville town meeting

A routine housekeeping measure intended to clarify who, exactly, can declare a State of Emergency on behalf of the Town of Waynesville — and, for what reasons — devolved into a disruptive shouting match over a non-existent “mask mandate.” Town officials, including Mayor Gary Caldwell, attribute all the fuss to a sensationalized story containing multiple inaccuracies.

What we do to survive, and why

It seems every time I sit down to write these days, it has something to do with journalism and the state of our industry. Forgive me my obsession, but during this time of isolation it’s difficult to concentrate for long on any other topic. I am obsessed — a strong word, I know, but the truth —  with steering our company through this strange, once-in-a-lifetime business disruption.

WNCW and BPR make the connection during isolation

Walking down the empty hallways of the WNCW studios on the campus of Isothermal Community College in Spindale, Martin Anderson passes by silent offices on his way to broadcast in front of a microphone for all of Western North Carolina to hear. 

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