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Posted: March 12, 2017 5:00 a.m.

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Our Thoughts: A newspaper’s role

There is a saying – “Journalism doesn’t tell you what to think, it tells you what to think about.” In today’s day and age of “fake news,” that saying it more important than ever.

Many people have asked The Covington News to come out and take a stand on SPLOST, either for or against.

Even in our editorial space, we believe that is not our role.

Our role is to inform our readers so that they can make their own decisions.

For some, that is frustrating because they think we should have a stance.

For others, that is frustrating because making your own decision is hard. Very hard.

So no, we, as The Covington News, won’t be coming out for or against SPLOST. It is not our role to tell you what to think. You have to make that decision for yourself.

But don’t be fooled by the “fake news” out there. Read, research, ask questions for yourself.

Some questions center on the selection of projects. Others on the allocation of the funds between Newton County and our municipalities. Others on the past SPLOSTs, specifically collections and how the money has been managed in the past.

If your opinion is already formed, share it with others in a thoughtful, meaningful way.

We welcome Letters to the Editor to voice opinions. We welcome guest columnists that wish to put their professional/official opinion out there for everyone to read. We welcome respectful dialogue and discussion on our social media sites.

We hope that you make yourself informed enough to make your own decision on the SPLOST vote.

Whichever way you vote, we hope that you get out and vote. Early voting ends March 17. Election day is March 21. You have ample opportunity.

As local election history has shown, especially in recent years, every vote counts. Don’t let the number of votes in this SPLOST election not include your vote.

A better informed public makes better informed decisions. Then everyone wins. Even if you don’t agree with a decision or an election, we still win when the process works.

The only way we can really lose is when we have record low rates of election participation. Or record low community input into programs or policy. Or record low participation in, well, anything.

As for an official stance on SPLOST, The Covington News wholeheartedly supports a community engaged in its future.

(We have attempted to answer the SPLOST questions we know about within the pages of this newspaper. If there are still unanswered questions, please let us know by emailing us at news@covnews.com or calling 770-787-6397.)

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