I have a suggestion to make: when a reporter calls you for an interview, if you have a secret to keep or don't want to talk, say so. But don't tell tales or misrepresent the basic facts.
In the past three weeks, I've dealt with two separate individuals that have done just that. And the sad thing is, both of these bright, capable men didn't stop to think I'd do my research.
Sometimes I can feel a knot in my stomach when I know I'm being told something that just isn't right. This only makes me look harder and dig deeper. And it's at this point that I become very, very tenacious.
I'm eerily, quietly persistent and every door opens another when I'm lied to.
In other words, if I'm interviewing you and feel yourself leaning toward misrepresenting things, don't be gabby. Instead, stop talking and say, "No comment."
In an interview, when you talk, I write down what you're saying.
If you are dishonest, you are digging a very deep, dark hole in which it will likely become impossible to get out of. Reputations go flying out the window. And should I ever have to talk to you again, I'm going to be very, very skeptical about what you say.
We reporters can live with no comment, which often leads to a story never making it to print.
That's a much better alternative to telling one reporter one thing, and a different reporter something else entirely.
Trust me. We reporters talk.
But what's worse is we write stories. And if one of your mis-truths makes it to the pages of our newspaper, it isn't us who looks bad.
Especially when we write in a correction, "Contrary to what was told to the Daily Sun News...."