First Amendment rights must be protected



For the last few years, a distrust in “fake news” has been on the rise, partially due to interference of government officials. A free, and honest press is one of the cornerstones of American ideals and necessary for a country to succeed, and this has been evident in the last few months. The Maroon Messenger newspaper staff stands in support of our local paper and other publications pursuing this goal.

Interference in the press is not only an infringement to its First Amendment right, but to all citizens. Manipulation of the media is the most common tool used to shape public opinion in favor of government and their actions, and a common precursor to other suppressions of the rights of citizens.

It stops the public from accurately recognizing and addressing communities ills in the same way that’s possible with an honest press  For example, reporting on the local EMS’s slow response times and the tragic result of them, brought in the upgrade of two 24-hour patrolling ambulances, and a decrease in estimated response times. If tragedies like this aren’t reported, then a community can’t improve.

A community having a positive self image is great for boosting morale, but when this perspective ignores its own flaws, these underlying issues are left to fester. The outcomes of these issues will become too dire for morale alone to fix.

Now this is not to say news should be a constant storm of doom and gloom. Uplifting stories are shown to improve a publications retention of readership, and allow a reader a break from a constant storm of negativity. It’s evident that Devine’s paper knows this, because for every story detailing local tragedy, there are plenty more that show Devine’s strengths as a community. Sports, reporting of celebrations and human interests have been and are an important part of painting a complete picture of a community.

In summary, we stand in support of Devine News and any publication in its pursuit of accurately reporting the news, pretty or not.