Fake news freakout! All of this really happened in 2017*

Last year it was still just a quaint, silly little term — fake news.

If you’re reading this, then we thank you

In this holiday season, I have much to be thankful for. At least that’s the way I see it, though others may call me crazy for what I consider my blessings.

Skip past this column right now unless you’re OK with a little self-indulgence while I talk about what we do here at The Smoky Mountain News. I mean, it’s an odd business: we gather information from throughout the region — news from various sources and paid advertisements from businesses — package it in print and online, and give it away each week in hopes you’ll read and find what we do relevant, useful and interesting so we can do it again next week.

Looking beyond headlines to where news originates

Every once in a great while, I come away from a book like some near-sighted fourth-grader who has just put on his first pair of glasses. The math problems on the whiteboard leap out at him; the words in his Open Court Reader are no longer a blur; the dimple in Jeannie Godine’s cheek is as fetching as her voice. I can see, the kid says to himself. I can really see.

Do you write stories to dispel rumors?

“A lie can run around the world before the truth has its boots on.”

That’s one of the few quotes or sayings I can summon up at will. At some point it was etched into my memory. An internet search credits it to Terry Pratchett, a recently deceased but very popular British author of fantasy novels whom I have never read.

If truth doesn’t matter, we are doomed

By Norman Hoffman • Guest Columnist

Some time ago a cartoon had Donald Trump’s press secretary and Kelly Ann Conway dressed as Burger King employees under a banner “Home of the Whopper” and Conway saying, “Do you want lies with that?” Lies seem to be the staple of the Trump administration.

Save your crude posts for other websites, please

Something newspaper editors never say: “I wish that fewer people responded to that piece in last week’s paper.”

Well, thanks to the nature of the online world that we currently live in, I’m going to buck tradition: I wish fewer people responded to that piece in last week’s paper.

Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come

By Kurt J. Volker • Contributing Writer

In a sense, Warren and Phil Drake and Warren’s wife Ronda have created their own field of dreams in the magical mountains of Macon County.

Tucked between Dalton’s Christian Bookstore and Angel Urgent Care at the Georgia Road and N.C. 64 in Franklin, is a rather non-descript storefront, marked by the corporate logo Myriad Media. While not open to the general public as a regular business normally is, Myriad Media is available by appointment and does provide a complete service for those seeking to create their own unique musical identity.

This must be the place: We won, but what’s the real prize?

Once they announce your name, you stand up and move towards the bright lights.

Meandering around a sardine can ballroom of tables, chairs and random folks milling about, The Smoky Mountain News made it to the stage at the Sheraton in downtown Raleigh last Thursday evening.

Newspapers with real reporters and editors matter

By Frank Queen • Guest Columnist

I was surrounded by newspapers growing up. Dad worked for the government in the 1960s and we lived in Alexandria, a suburb of D.C. Every day we had five newspapers delivered to the house.

Dad started reading when he got home and only stopped to eat supper. You could try to talk to him when he was reading, but he didn’t hear you unless you could get him to lower the paper. If you wanted to hang around with him, you might as well sit down and pick up a paper yourself.

SMN reporter to cover Presidential Inauguration

Starting this week, The Smoky Mountain News will begin issuing a steady stream of coverage from the nation’s capital as the world awaits the swearing in of the United States’ 45th President, Republican Donald J. Trump.

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