I often see comments blaming the “media” for making too much of a story or slanting coverage in one way or another.

Before I get to my serious topic for the day, I want to thank St. John’s Church for the fun Pumpkin Patch Palooza event they’ve been offering to the community for five years now. The church members put a lot of work into producing the event and provide something for everyone — games, food, contests, and cute animals. To top it off they choose a worthy cause to donate the profits to, the Brown County Humane Society this year. Thank you, St. John’s, for a fun event that is surely becoming a tradition for Sleepy Eye.

Now on to more serious things. I do spend a bit of time looking at Facebook. I enjoy the cute animal videos, pictures of friends and their families, recipes, and yes, I enjoy the politics and news found on Facebook.

I often see comments blaming the “media” for making too much of a story or slanting coverage in one way or another.

That bothers me — probably because I am part of the “media” here.

I’d been thinking I would address this topic. Then I received Pastor Siefkes column and he was writing about the same thing. I told him I would be quoting him.

Pastor Siefkes wrote, “there was a time in our country’s history when citizens expected the media to do two things: collect the facts and tell the truth. Naive citizens assume advertisements, scientific studies, and editorials are always factual. In reality, bias is the norm within sinful humanity. To pretend not to have a bias is dangerous for everyone. Left unchecked, it harms the one pretending not to have a bias. Furthermore, it harms the listener/reader because they do not necessarily receive the truth.”

I agree, although I admit I wasn’t thinking about sin. I’d like you to take the next step.

As a consumer of news (likely with a bias), it is your duty to discern between news and opinion. For example, big news stories are on the front page and the six o’clock news. News organizations label opinion and analysis as such. What we see on far left or far right social media posts and cable news networks is certainly presented with bias and often requires some fact-checking. Do your part.