2018-08-22 / Front Page

Freedom of the press

“Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through mediums including various electronic media and published materials. While such freedom mostly implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state, its preservation may be sought through constitutional or other legal protections.”

Trump is falling into the description of “an overreaching state.” “Freedom of the press, like freedom of speech, is not absolute. Notwithstanding the limitations placed on it, the press exercise enormous power and influence, and is burdened with commensurate responsibility.” However, members of the press must still be bold and courageous in exercising their rights. “A freedom given up is not so easily regained,” Rivera Sun.

“The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, says that “Congress shall make no law....abridging (limiting) the freedom of speech, or of the press... Freedom of speech is the liberty to speak openly without fear of government restraint. It is closely linked to freedom of the press because this freedom includes both the right to speak and the right to be heard. In the United States, both the freedom of speech and freedom of press are commonly called freedom of expression.”

This amendment is generally understood to prevent the government from interfering with the distribution of information and opinions. Trump and other government officials have no right to confidentiality agreements. They are not working in business but rather for the public.

Protection of press freedom in the United States remains vital to the defense and expansion of press freedom worldwide; indeed, it is a cornerstone of global democracy. When political leaders in the United States lambaste the media, it encourages their counterparts abroad to do the same.

Trump, by destroying press freedoms in the U.S., is making the world a more dangerous place, and not just for the news Medias. Trump’s cynical effort to cast the press as “enemies” and his chants of “fake news” create instability here in the U.S.

“It is the press, above all, which wages a positively fanatical and slanderous struggle, tearing down everything which can be regarded as a support of national independence, cultural elevation, and the economic independence of the nation,” Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf. Trump is not the first nor will he be the last to suppress the news.

Pat Otten,
Vice Chair, Hoosiers for Tomorrow
Carmel, Ind.

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