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Does accuracy still matter in a post-truth, fake-news Donald Trump world?

Whatever your politics, I think we can all agree that a Donald Trump presidency is not boring.

New legislations, new enemies, new words – “covfefe,” anyone? Yes, there’s plenty going on to keep him in the limelight and the world watching. He’s hard to ignore. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Not only has The Donald brought a new way of governing to the White House, he’s also brought a new sort of rhetorical attitude to the fore – one that’s coined such phrases as “fake news” and “post-truth.”

It used to be that we counted on journalists and editors to filter out facts from fluff and tell us what was “the news.” These days with social media that sees citizen journalists (not to mention reality TV presidents) tweeting out what they want, when they want, to say things have changed is an understatement.

So, does accuracy still matter in a post-truth, fake-news Donald Trump world?


We’re not all Donald Trump . . . phew!

Maybe if you have billions of dollars, your own line of hotels and questionable universities and are the leader of the free world you can get away with saying things without supporting evidence. But, for most of us, we need to prove we can be trusted. Therefore, yes, what you say and write needs to be accurate.

In the real world, credibility matters.



Why does it matter?

You have a reputation to make and keep, so do things right.

You need to give people the best impression you can. We all know mistakes happen, but there’s a difference between the occasional goof up and just plain getting things wrong. By doing your due diligence, you can keep from misleading your boss, clients, co-workers and potential customers.

Plus, the moment someone notices that something you said or wrote isn’t correct, they start questioning everything else that you say or write. How’s that going to affect your messaging?


How to improve your accuracy in writing

  • Take care, take your time and learn from mistakes.
  • Check your work. Use spell check, but also use your own eyes and those of a friend.
  • If you’re using data or stats for support, consider the source. The Globe and Mail, rightly or wrongly, carries more clout that the North Island Bugle.
  • If it’s something you’ve done a hundred times, don’t get complacent. In fact, developing a check list is an excellent way to defeat that – just ask a pilot!

Need help with these things? Get it, because accuracy still matters – today and every day. Especially when you don’t have your own press secretary.

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Nancy Miller

Owner and editorial rockstar at Rock.Paper.Copy Writing Solutions

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