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Editorial

Love or Hate Trump, his actions against the press have to stop

On a recent Thursday, the U.S. Senate took action to protect free speech.

In a unanimous resolution, the Senate’s members voted to affirm support for the nation having a free press. In that resolution, the Senate’s members also declared that “the press is not the enemy of the people,” as stated in an article printed by Reuters Press. These words have also been reprinted in recent days by various Press Associations, including the S.C. Press Association.

According to those publications, this resolution was a not-so-silent action to rebuke the words of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly called the press an enemy of the people.

Specifically, the resolution approved by the U.S. Senate “reaffirms the vital and indispensable role that the free press serves to inform the electorate, uncover the truth, act as a check on the inherent power of the government, further national discourse and debate, and otherwise advance the most basic and cherished democratic norms and freedoms of the United States,” according to the S.C. Press Association.

This newspaper’s editorial staff is putting aside personal and various political opinions and are collectively saying, “thank you” to the U.S. Senate for this resolution.

The press and its freedoms are a founding core value of our nation. It represents the individual freedoms of you, each citizen. The free press also sustains that government works for the people: it is the press who openly report on the actions of the “government” and on the use of taxpayer money. Even locally, the free press ensure that local elected bodies are acting accordingly, are spending money appropriately, are withholding their word to their constituents, are acting in the public’s best benefit, and are not using their power to the benefit of themselves or their friends or family.

How would you have ever known that our bus drivers were not being screened with criminal background checks if your local press had not investigated those claims? How would you have known that taxpayer dollars were formerly being misspent by your leaders had we not investigated and reported properly? And how would you ever know the good happenings of your local leaders without the media?

The free press may seem like small potatoes on a local level, but we assure you that our actions – and the actions of our fellow newspapers and media in this region – is a critical component. Each reporter, no matter how small their reader base may be, carries the privilege and burden of being the eyes and ears of each taxpayer and U.S. Citizen. This is no light task.

And, yet, is the reporter who is so often criticized by elected leaders.

We thank the U.S. Senate for this resolution. And we praise the 350

-plus newspapers who rallied and helped to turn the resolution into a reality.

The free press must stay free. This values carry the weight of our nation, no matter the politics or the president in charge.

Heather Walters (1389 Posts)