In this Trump-esque “fake news” atmosphere, we would like to set the record straight.

One thing I’ve learned from being the editor of the Southern Utah News for the past 26 years is that politicians rarely want to be quoted on what they actually say!

In fact, on my office wall at home is the following saying (author unknown):

“I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

It has come to my attention that both our reporters covering the Kane County Commission and the Kanab City Council have recently taken criticism and verbal abuse on their reporting of a couple of ‘hot ticket’ items.

In both instances, SUN reporters had either personally-recorded the meeting for accuracy, or checked the governing body’s own recording when questioned. They both had proof that what they wrote had been correct!

In the case of the Commission, reporter Caralee Woods was publicly taken to task by Commission Chair Lamont Smith for a quote he had said in a previous meeting concerning the beleaguered Kanab Convention Center. He complained of being misquoted, wanted a correction, and basically demeaned Woods, as well as the newspaper.

That was inappropriate and untrue. Woods had quoted Smith accurately! Perhaps his own words had been controversial, resulting in some hot water?

The newspaper has always enjoyed a good relationship with Commissioner Smith, and appreciate the years of service he has given to Kane County. But quite frankly, we think he should apologize to Woods for taking her to task publicly when she had reported accurately.

The Southern Utah News prides itself in fair and accurate reporting. But we are also willing to admit when we’ve gotten something wrong. That didn’t happen in the recent circumstances.

A healthy newspaper is imperative to a free society. Government must not operate in the dark.

The public has a right to know about important issues facing the county! People who hold office should be reported on, and their words and actions while in office should be scrutinized. They are, after all, servants of the public.

We appreciate and applaud the hard work and integrity of our writers.