Clear as mud

Jess Oaks
Posted 1/31/24

I am still reflecting on my adventures at the 125th Annual Wyoming Press Association Convention a few weeks ago.

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Clear as mud


I am still reflecting on my adventures at the 125th Annual Wyoming Press Association Convention a few weeks ago. 

One of the lectures I attended spoke on the importance of transparency in journalism. 

Matter of fact, I don’t believe there was a presentation where the word transparency wasn’t used at least 20 times. 

Clearly, there is importance within the meaning of the word.

What is transparency in journalism and why is it important to all of our readers here at the Telegram?

Years ago, one of my favorite high school science teachers often used the phrase, “clear as mud.” 

Most of the time when he used the phrase, he had just finished explaining something extremely complicated, but I promise, transparency isn’t that difficult to explain. 

It is pretty easy by standard definition. Transparency is “the quality of allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen,” according to Oxford. 

There are many objects in our daily lives which are transparent. They can easily be seen through. We know exactly what is on the other side of the window we look out and we are prepared for what we can see. 

Now, let’s add that definition into journalism. 

To be transparent in journalism, simply defined, is to have no hidden agenda in reporting current events and noteworthy news. It means providing the news in manner which is easy to understand. Transparency also consists of making public information, well, public. 

Being a transparent journalist helps readers trust where their news is coming from.  As a journalist my position is not to defend a person, situation, or event but to bring accurate information to public eyes. 

Recently, I have attended a handful of different meetings throughout the county. Part of my goal here at the Telegram is to help shed some light on the wonderful organizations in our area. There are so many people in the community who are completely unaware of the types of organizations we have here in Goshen County and just how those organizations benefit our community. There is no hidden agenda behind my attendance. I have enjoyed learning about the different clubs and groups in the area and I have enjoyed sharing their successes with the community. 

Our world is moving so quickly and the technology around us is steadily increasing capabilities. We have many methods we receive “news” today and sometimes it is difficult to determine information from misinformation. We now have “fact checkers” on social media and things have just become more difficult to sort through and determine what to believe. 

Here at the Telegram, it is our goal to bring you reliable, trustworthy news. We want to be where to turn for the news and more importantly, where you turn for the truth.