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Heard a rumor

MBJ Editorial

Will Mississippi be home to a new Nissan automotive manufacturing facility? Rumor and the “word on the street” (always reliable, right?) would have us believe so.

For months, economic development professionals have discussed the possibility of a big, new deal locating in the Southeast. Public officials have alluded to something

big happening. Confirmation and details have been weak to nonexistent.

This has not stopped the media from speculating – on the air and in print.

Landing such a project would be a tremendous boost to our state’s economy. However, until the parties involved are willing to confirm that, “yes, we’re coming to

Mississippi,” reckless speculation is the best way to kill a deal.

News organizations have a responsibility to the public to publish or air important and meaningful information. But in covering economic development stories, it is critical

to weigh the value of knowing now, which could push a company into another state as deals are revealed, with the enormous benefits that such projects could bring if

successfully negotiated.

Deciding which stories to pursue and how to cover them is never easy, but running with rumor and speculation and weak sources is a no-brainer.

Folks shouldn’t run their businesses on the basis of rumor and innuendo – no matter how persistent. Neither should the media.

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