Right in the centre - Little mistakes and big ones too


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

Needless to say, I read a lot of newspapers in hard copy and online. I also take in some news on CBC-TV, CNN stations and online.

Credibility in news reporting is not increasing and it’s partly due to reporters being in too big a hurry to meet deadlines and partly because many in the news business are just plain sloppy. (And maybe lazy!).

On Sunday, a news guy was reporting about the ongoing strike at MPI or Autopac. He said almost 2,000 workers are on strike. Then he hesitated and said a number considerably less, close to 1700. Now that misinformation doesn’t really affect the issues at hand, but it does make the story less credible. I know math is hard, but simple math should be fairly simple to report.

We make errors in this paper, but we try to correct them as quickly as possible and offer an apology to go with the correction. We also try to report carefully and proof our work. We still make mistakes. There’s possibly some grammar and spelling mistakes in this very column.

The world is in turmoil today, but the reporting is far from complete. The war in Gaza is getting a lot of media attention and so is the Russian war in Ukraine. There are however many other battles going on right now and they go virtually unreported.

A quick internet search shows up 12 major conflicts going on right now. Ironically, every war could be stopped quite quickly, if nations would clearly examine the logic and costs in lives, injuries, damages to infrastructure and yes, money.

I might be proven wrong but the US Civil war of the 1860s could have been solved more cheaply with paying off the slave owners rather than the money being spent on war. That’s just the money, not the deaths and injuries.

I also think the Iraq-US war would have been cheaper to solve with money rather than the lives lost.

No country should invade another. Simple to say, I realize, but why would a country want to invade when what they need and want could more easily be obtained by economic agreements? Invading nations, in modern times, haven’t fared well, at least in the short term. Germany was nearly destroyed twice in the 1900s as invaded countries fought them to a near death experience. Japan was a long time recovering from their 1940s aggressions. 

Russia (or at least Putin) wants to restore the USSR to some earlier mythical glory.

I say mythical, as a quick study of history will show that once a country gets really big, it also becomes ungovernable. Russia has been an unmanageable disaster more times than not in the past 2-300 years. Countries like the US, Canada and Russia are so big that the elites (remember those elites I wrote about a couple of weeks ago) get the idea that they don’t need the people, all they need is power and tokenism. Keeping power becomes more important than serving the needs of the nation and its people.

So I started out talking about little mistakes such as the ones reporters may make and now I have wandered off into mistakes nations make. They are different but, in many ways, the small mistakes and the big mistakes are similar. They are both situations where the person or nation wander from truth to fiction, intentionally or otherwise. The Bible says in John 8:32, “Then you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

In everything we do or say, as a person or as a nation, we must seek the truth.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.