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I have become more and more frustrated with journalists these days. Many write a column or essay and include “facts” to support their opinion. However, they don’t make it easy for their readers to verify whether those “facts” are indeed “facts."

For example, editor Mike McInally wrote a column recently about the ban of plastic straws in Oregon. He relied on information provided by Annie Lowrey’s essay in The Atlantic. I assume he read her essay, but did he fact check what she wrote? If he did, he must have spent a lot of “inconvenient” amounts of time doing so.

For example, a study by Jenna Jambeck, which was published in 2015 in the journal Science, was mentioned. Have you ever tried to find a study in a database with only the year? An inconvenient amount of time. Since Ms. Lowrey wanted to provide us with some semblance of verification, why couldn’t she just as easily provided a hyperlink to the actual publication? Is this due to a shortcut because of deadlines? Or does she want her readers to think she is the authority to provide the truth?

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As a former science teacher, I would like Mr. McInally to tell his readers if he verified everything from Ms. Lowrey’s essay. If he didn’t, his mea culpa is to come to Central Linn High School in Halsey, where I work, and speak to some students about the pitfalls of acting like the authority, when you are not.

Dolores Porch

Albany (Aug. 27)

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