Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 |
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• Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press
As can be seen in the above political cartoon, and in our Nation section today, freedom of the press in the United States is taking some strange twists and turns.
While Time magazine has caved and is revealing who the unnamed source in a news story is, a New York Times reporter is now sitting in a jail cell for not revealing who her unidentified source was.
In our Nation report comes the news that the Cleveland Plain Dealer — Ohio’s highest-circulation newspaper — is hesitating to print two articles that rely on leaked documents because they are similar in type to those the New York Times’ reporter was jailed for.
While we agree that Newsweek shouldn’t have published reports of Koran toilet flushing without proper documentation, which reportedly resulted in deaths in Afghanistan during anti-U.S. riots, forcing reporters to face jail terms rather than divulge sources isn’t right.
At The Garden Island we had our own run in this week regarding the freedom of the press when we were told to not take photographs of a crime scene on a public street. We did take photos and one appeared on the front page of Saturday’s issue. We are now rethinking what our own freedoms are on Kaua‘i and will be getting this issue resolved with county officials so they are clear on our rights.
Preserving the freedom of the press is a critical issue in these times of international terrorism and the subsequent tighter controls on our public lives. It is an issue that needs to be resolved in favor of the press if we are to continue to enjoy one of the most basic freedoms provided by the Constitution. Our forefathers were taxed by the British in an attempt to control the press, which then, and now, has the power to make major changes to society that reflect the determination of people to be free. This issue also touches upon the case of the County Council versus the state Office of Information Practices regarding the release of Council executive session minutes. It is a good example of controlling information to control government outside the purview of the press.
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