Recently, Don Rush asked us to comment about the role/value of newspapers, and other news media, in our society.
Perhaps, an excerpt from The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University book published 10 years ago put it best: “The independent media functions as another check and balance on government although it remains unclear which of the roles of the free press – as watch-dog, as civic forum or as agenda-setter – is most important in this relationship. Plausibly, for example, the effectiveness of the press as watch-dogs should have the greatest impact upon stamping out corruption and promoting transparency and freedom of information, while their function in calling attention to social problems should influence government responsiveness to policy problems.”
Some times called the “Fourth Estate,” journalism is the strongest tool of free speech we have.
Is it perfect? No. Is anything perfect? No.
But it is our independent means of speaking in a voice, or voices, to be heard regardless of political perspective; sometimes, it is the only way to be heard!
But, let us hold journalists to the same high standards we hold the branches of our government: we want openness, honesty and transparency. Our very livelihood – lives – are at stake!