How does it feel when somebody lies to you? You feel betrayed. And you wonder: what are they hiding?

During Colorado Journalism Week, we are proud to celebrate what the Ethical Journalism Network calls the five core values of the work we do: accuracy, independence, fairness, humanity and accountability. Our readers deserve no less.

We need to help people understand the danger of calling ethical journalism “fake news.” When someone doesn’t like “the news” but attacks the source instead of the actual content, they are deliberately engaging in a campaign of misinformation. It’s a thin, cowardly defense that never stands up to the light of truth.

Unwelcome news is not fake news. Fact-based reporting on controversial issues is not fake news. And discerning citizens know the difference. When someone tries to hide behind the fake news banner, they are intentionally spreading disinformation and sowing discord. They are chipping away, piece by piece, at our democracy.

You have the power to stand up for the truth, whether it’s a happy truth, or an inconvenient truth. Don’t settle for less. You owe it to yourself, your community, and our great country.