Those who know me well, know I enjoy a quiz, both participating and hosting.

In our local pub, The Creggans, we have a quiz on the first and third Thursdays of the month.

Sometimes, as I have discovered, there can be discrepancies over the correct answer to a question, despite the fact that I always try and find two independent sources for my answers.

Sometimes there is more than one correct answer to a question. In that case, we seek to have the answer verified by our independent bar staff – the internet is wonderful at ending arguments.

Yet, like all humanly created institutions, the internet is only as good as what people put into it and we know it can be a very dark place as well as a place of learning and enlightenment. In recent years we have seen the rise of fake news.

Fake news uses false information to damage a person’s reputation, or make money through advertising, by claiming a product is better than it really is. Or as we have seen more recently, fake news can be used to “spin” any news that is unfavourable to an individual or institution.

We have also heard of malign governments interfering with elections in other countries, through fake news. Sometimes fake news is presented as propaganda, which is always driven by a particular agenda, whether hidden or not.

It is said that the first casualty of war is the truth. We have seen that in Russia where laws prohibit independent reporting on the war in Ukraine. Indeed even to call the “special military operation” a war or invasion is illegal for journalists in Russia.

The word “truth” appears in the Bible over 100 times. I know because the last time I read it, I counted them.

No, that is indeed fake news – rather my Bible app tells me that when I type in the word. The word truth appears in one of my favourite Bible verses: “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” Jesus also said that “the truth will make you free”.

I believe that we all have a responsibility to tell the truth, for when we lie, we are binding one another in fake news and until and unless we hold governments and institutions to account and speak truth to power, we will never be able to change the structures that bind people in poverty and in inequality.