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Confession time about the news

From the Editor's Notebook

April 8, 2012
by Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Pull-leeze tell me that you spotted the Register's annual April Fool's Day story in last week's edition.

Many people did comment to me during the week that they read it and enjoyed it.

Some claim to have spotted it right away. Others say they started reading it in disbelief, then realized it was the annual prank story.

But, I worry every year that not everyone reads it all the way through and so they still don't realize that it is, well, all made up.

It's a fabrication.

So, pull-leeze tell me that you don't actually believe the city has plans to move the Green Giant statue to Putnam Park or any other place in the city.

They don't.

And as far as the talks between the city and the fair board about swapping some land at the fairgrounds, well, those talks are progressing quite nicely, thank you. Unless, of course, a fake story in the Register has jeopardized those talks.

But I doubt it. I am sure they all realize that the story was a hoax.

Did you?

There was just enough truth in the first part of the article to give it some believability. But, as the story went on, it become a little more far fetched. Then, at the end, the truth is revealed that it is an April Fool's Day joke.

Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce executive director Cindy Lyon was shocked when she first saw the story. Even more shocked when she saw she was quoted in the story.

Then she realized that I had mysteriously warned her that she was part of a 'funny' story coming out that week in the paper.

Lyon says others did not make the realization.

One woman was all upset that the city would spend that kind of money moving the statue when there are other more important things for the city to spend its money on.

Lyon suggested the woman read to the end of the story.

And, told her it was all a lie.

Another person told me they spotted the April Fool's Day story right away, because they were sure the city of Wells would not be getting a Subway. That story was the fake, they were positive.

But, it wasn't. Wells is getting a Subway.

Another said she was reading the lost cat story on the front page last week and was sure it was going to eventually say, "April Fool!"

I can see her point. With a little more 'embellishment' that story could have been our annual bit of tom-cat-foolery.

Hmmm. That gives me an idea for next year.

Even though we enjoy writing this bit of whimsey every year, as an editor it goes against my grain.

We work hard every week to bring you factual, accurate information, then seem to throw away our credibility with one big made up lie.

If it wasn't the week of April Fools Day, we would all be fired.

Or maybe it would just be me.

Newspapering is a strange business. Name another one where you might make a mistake and send it out to all 4,000 people on your client list to see.

Or, name another business where one of your customers sends you a letter of complaint about something you did and you then send that letter out to all 4,000 on your customer list.

That is what we do with a letter to the editor that criticizes something we've done. We send it out for everyone to read.

For instance, last week's letter concerning YSI and our coverage of the concerns at that institution. We printed the letter without comment. We feel people are entitled to their opinions, just as we are.

It is hard to do. After all, we have done several stories in the past about the good things going on at YSI. We had a story about one of the students there who had turned his life around. Our reporter, Antonio Acosta, did a nice story on the Wildcat Cafe in Elmore, run by YSI students.

But as many of our readers fully realize, we aim to cover all the news good and bad in as fair and accurate a manner as we can.

Our job is to inform the community of what is going on.

We don't make up the news, we just report it.

Well, other than the annual April Fool's Day fake story, we don't make up the news.

Guess you caught me there.

 
 

 

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