Free Press

Photo - White House Correspondents' Association

A free press is one of the preconditions of democracy - only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. Unfortunately we now have a President who displays, on almost a daily basis, a willingness to deceive the people. His oft-repeated false assertion that he would have won the popular vote if not for the millions of people who cast illegal ballots is just one example of the deception flowing from the Oval Office. In this instance, Trump’s lies about voter fraud are a likely prelude to future efforts to suppress voting rights across the nation. Many in the media have argued that the dissemination of misinformation regarding the extent of voter fraud in this country is part of a systematic effort to undermine the very foundations of democracy.

We are living through a time in which the presence of a free and unrestrained press could not be more necessary. All Americans should be thankful that journalists at news outlets around the country have refused to be cowed by the administration’s repeated attacks on the press, exemplified by Trump’s recent tweet that the “fake news media . . . is the enemy of the American people.” Given evidence of long-standing ties between the current administration and Putin’s regime, Trump may have good reason to fear the press. With Republicans in Congress displaying a pronounced reluctance to fully investigate Trump’s links to Putin, it is all the more important for Americans to come to the defense of news organizations committed to accurate portrayals of the news. If you do not subscribe to the New York Times or the Washington Post, it is time to do so. The Trump administration has demonstrated during its short time in office that it is more than ready to abuse the powers to which it has been handed. A free and unrestrained press is one of the few firewalls protecting the American people from such abuses, and we can ill afford to let that firewall crumble.

Actions

Subscribe and donate to local newspapers, public radio and public television stations including organizations in smaller, rural communities that may need the support even more.

Validate sources and point out fake news.

Expand your news sources.

Learn about the news business. Try a course for news literacy like Making Sense of the News offered by Stony Brook University. Read about the Media Bubble.

Exercise your critical thinking skills to help spot lies and verify claims. Try reading A Field Guide to Lies by Daniel J. Levitin for inspiration.

Local Organizations

The Call – weekly newspaper serving the black community

KC Hispanic News – weekly newspaper serving the Hispanic community

KCPT – Kansas City Public Television

KCUR – Kansas City Public Radio

KKFI – Kanas City Community Radio

Kansas City Star – Kansas City daily newspaper

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