Fact, Fiction or Opinion?

In today’s day of social media, electronic communication and the never-ending flood of information through the internet and other sources, it is often hard to determine what is factual. People and organizations can easily fall victim to attacks and the dissemination of misinformation. Over the last several years, the Higgins Lake Foundation, its leadership, as well as other organizations in our area have been targeted by false or misleading information.

Although this great country of ours allows for freedom of speech and people can say what they want often without interference, it is important to understand why we cannot always believe what we hear and read. The Higgins Lake Foundation has always tried to focus its efforts and resources on its task at hand, which is to “promote ecologically-sound projects and practices for the protection of Higgins Lake and the surrounding watershed.” We have chosen not to be distracted from our mission in order to combat attacks and allegations by people whose goal might not be the same as the Foundation’s.

However, if you should be presented with information and face the dilemma of not knowing whether it is true, there are certain things you can keep in mind not only as it applies to lake issues, but to life in general. Ask yourself: What is the source of the information that is being provided? Does that source have direct access to the information being presented? What is the motivation behind the message? How is the message being presented? What are the real facts being presented as opposed to interwoven opinions? What is the manner in which it is being presented, and why is it being presented in that fashion? What is the goal of the message being presented? Is it to preserve and protect the lake we love? Is what is being presented truly factual or merely fact interpretation and opinion?

If you question the information being presented or what you read or hear about the Higgins Lake Foundation, reach out to the Foundation, its board members or its scientists to learn what is fact versus fiction.

Unfortunately, whether it is on the national level or local level, we do not have the Walter Cronkites or the Huntley–Brinkleys of this world who would simply present us with the facts and let us form our own objectively educated opinions.

Oh, those were the days,
Robert L. Blamer-Higgins Lake Foundation Board Member