A free press is essential to preserve democracy.

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A free press is essential to preserve democracy.

I’m repeating an earlier post, because Trump and his cohorts are doing all in their power to demean our free press.

As an author of nonfiction books for students and adults, I could not write the texts without printed and electronic resources—newspapers, magazines, cable news, and other media. Reporters and journalists are the people who provide the printed material backed up by evidence and often statements from experts in many fields. Among the newspapers I consult are The Washington Post, New York Times, Denver Post, Milwaukee Journal, Los Angeles Times, Tampa Bay Times, and the Wall Street Journal. I find reliable information in magazines like The Atlantic, Time, Newsweek, and others. I have found trustworthy information about epilepsy, divorce, volunteering, activism, obesity, food shortages, and many other topics on which my books are focused.

Some facts: Brave journalists have risked their lives to report the truth about war, riots, fires, earthquakes, floods, tornados, hurricanes, mud slides, and other disasters. Journalists have reported scientific studies about everything from climate change to fatal diseases to psychological disorders. So I am pleased to learn that journalists are standing up and loudly proclaiming that they do not write “fake news” and they are NOT “the enemy of the American people,” as Trump claims. If Trump could be truthful for a change, he would stop lying and quit depending on the fake reports that Fox “News” presents, and find many many many examples of real news.

Because of all the White House attacks on journalists and reputable news reports, the American public appears to be swallowing the lies and taking part in attacks against the free press. In fact, five journalists at the Capital Gazette were shot to death on June 28, 2018, because the shooter had a vendetta against the newspaper. Sadly, other deadly attacks on journalists have occurred but the deaths at the Capital Gazette were the worst ever recorded, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Because of the violence journalists face, the Boston Globe has been contacting editorial boards of newspapers nationwide, proposing that they print editorials about the dangers of the Trump administration’s assault on the press. The Globe is requesting a coordinated effort–that newspapers “commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date August 16, 2018. “Publications, whatever their politics, could make a powerful statement by standing together in the common defense of their profession and the vital role it plays in government for and by the people.”

Newspaper readers and TV viewers could also do their part. Commit to efforts to maintain a free press. Without it, there is no “watchdog” on behalf of the public, and democracy is endangered. Americans need to know what their government is doing domestically and internationally, otherwise an authoritarian administration can and will attempt to control what people read and view. That is Trump’s stated goal. If we do not have accurate, truthful, factual information, we are subject to dictatorship and fascist rule.

 

 

 

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