Give us reason to defend a strong and free press
Nov 01, 2018 | 545 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor

Not long ago, the T-I printed “A Call to Action,” lamenting the attack from political leaders who market the press as the enemy of the people. I wholeheartedly believe that a free press has and still plays a vital role in shaping both our government and our culture and must be supported and defended as essential to American democracy. But I also believe that today’s press needs to take a long hard look at itself and the ways it has contributed to the current state of civic discourse, hostility, and the exaltation of differences and disputes.

I know you’ve already been scolded for the choice you made to use the unfortunate and tabloid-esque “Council Rejects McGann” headline. But did you find it meaningful that the next week’s letters were a mixture of, not only those that chided you, but expressions of regret for the current state of politics, and appeals for the community to get along? Each of us is responsible for creating changes. But, I believe the editors of a newspaper, by speaking to the public, position themselves as community leaders–not just event reporters and printers of opinion. Your words matter and with them you can educate and inform; you can elevate your readers and community. Or, like the aforementioned headline, you can contribute to misunderstanding, reactive emotions, and petty fighting. If you want readers to defend–and pay for–a strong and free press, you must give us every reason to do so.


–Pippa Thomas


Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.