Editorial: Defending free press

Posted 8/16/18

Our president likes to call the news media the "enemy of the people." He says that printed newspaper pages and the airwaves are full of "fake news." Local community newspapers, such as The Taos News, …

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Editorial: Defending free press

Posted

Our president likes to call the news media the "enemy of the people." He says that printed newspaper pages and the airwaves are full of "fake news."

Local community newspapers, such as The Taos News, are not the public's enemy. The news they print is not fake.

We do print "good news." We celebrate our community each week, with stories and photos about sports championships, graduations, business successes, art and entertainment events and in-depth stories about our neighbors.

We also print, and send out on the internet, stories that fight against fake news. Ever since this newspaper was founded in 1959, Thursday has been the day when people bought a paper to see whether the gossip they heard was true. Today with our website and social media posts, people don't have to wait a week to find out what is true and what is "fake news".

Our reporters let readers know what is really happening in government. We sit through interminable government meetings and analyze them for readers. We dig through public records and interview officials, so our readers know what is happening with their tax money.

For example, the rumor in town could be "so-and-so got fired from his government job." But we let our readers know that not only did he not get fired, he was given a raise and a contract extension.

Not all news in our community is good. With our news stories and photos, we cover tragedy too: domestic violence, substance abuse, poverty and natural disasters. But people need to know these things.

Years ago in Soviet Russia, there was no street crime, no substance abuse, no domestic violence. They did not exist because the media was barred from reporting on them even though alcoholism, its consequent domestic abuse, and crime were rampant.

Unless Americans fight back against our president's "enemy of the people" campaign, they could end up living in ignorance as the Soviets did. Stand up for community newspapers and the rest of the media--we are not "fake news" outlets.

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