We all have words that we can’t stand to hear. Moist, gurgle and smear are just a few that are known to make ones skin crawl. But you know one word that is guaranteed to make my, and every other journalists', blood boil? Fake news.

I despise that phrase with every bone in my body. It used to be that fake news was a term only used to refer to tabloids and gossip columns. But now, thanks to our president, it seems that fake news is everywhere.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of misinformation, personal opinions and assumptions out there, but I will guarantee you will never see an ounce of fake news from credible news sources.

Somehow, fake news went from things that are outright false to anything that doesn’t agree with or offends the conservative mindset. Now before you start slamming on your keyboard and accusing me of being a liberal snowflake, let me say that I am a registered Republican and have conservative views. But I also know that just because a lawmaker has R next to their name does not mean they can do no wrong. I care more about policies than what political party someone is associated with and I think there are corrupt politicians on both sides. But I digress.

Recently, an article about how Matt Gaetz tried to get one of the parents of a victim of the Parkland shooting thrown out of a recent House Judiciary Committee meeting was posted on The Log’s Facebook page. Immediately, conservatives jumped to defend Gaetz and accused The Log of being biased, liberal and posting fake news.

I read the article multiple times. It explained the chain of events and also explained that this isn’t the first time Gaetz has found himself in the middle of a controversy. Gaetz isn’t always the most sensitive person on the planet and it’s public record. I’m sorry, that’s just the facts.

Just because an article or piece of journalism does not agree with your political or personal views, does not make it fake or any less credible. It is ingrained into a journalist’s head to remain unbiased and just report the facts. Unfortunately, the race to be the first news outlet to break a story has taken over our fast-paced world and all too often a news source will have to print a retraction or make an apology. There are also the networks that are known to have a political bias, which is why I refuse to listen to their news reports. CNN and Fox, I’m looking at you.

Instead of immediately jumping to conclusions, attacking and accusing, I encourage you to research the topics that you don’t agree with. Find out the real facts and don’t base your opinion off of things you read online or hear in the opinion segment of the news. Start thinking for yourselves and leave the fake news in 2018.

Sheri Kotzum is a reporter for The Destin Log. She can be reached at skotzum@thedestinlog.com or 315-4353.