Fake news is a phrase that wasn’t uttered in April 1997 when the Red River swamped the neighborhoods of Grand Forks, N.D., and East Grand Forks, Minn.
When my Grand Forks Herald colleagues and I reported on the devastating flood damage and the fire that ravaged 11 downtown Grand Forks buildings, nobody took to social media to attack our news stories. After tens of thousands of residents fled their homes because of the onslaught of water, they turned to the news media to learn when the water would recede and when they could return to rebuild their homes and neighborhoods.
Most of our newsroom staff remained in the Red River Valley to report on events as they unfolded. We worked out of a makeshift newsroom in a Manvel, N.D., school, and several of us felt fortunate to have a place to sleep on the floor in a house outside Manvel.
Liz Fedor, former political reporter and editorial page editor for the Grand Forks Herald, wrote a commentary about journalism’s role in the age of social media. She examined that issue by reflecting on how journalists served the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks communities during and after the 1997 flood. Her commentary was published Wednesday on the MinnPost website that is based in Minneapolis.
You can find the rest of the opinion article here: