The Norman Transcript

Columns

October 24, 2013

Celebrating newspapers’ role in free speech

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Years ago, newspapers were the only reliable way to disseminate information to a wide audience. Thanks to the internet, our society has become inundated with information from many sources. The internet plays a critical role in the delivery of newspaper media and newspapers remain the trusted source in communities, large or small, that cut through the clutter with the news that you need to know.

Newspapers remain the reliable way to reach the American public. Our circulation revenue is up and our readership is growing, because today, more than ever, people need a news source they can trust.

Our right to accurate news and to know the truth about what is going on is very closely tied to our right to free speech and our freedom to challenge leaders and institutions on their practices. Newspapers are a key channel for that information. Investigative journalists constantly serve as public watchdogs, uncovering everything from governmental procedures to unsafe factory conditions.

Newspapers inform the public of important stories. As we learn from others’ expertise and understand important issues, we are empowered to speak up, take a stand and create change.

In America, we have the right to publish negative stories and to realize what is really going on. We have the right to push for change and play an active role in our country. We have the freedom to express ourselves, and the assurance that our voices will be heard. We celebrate Free Speech Week from Oct. 21-27 because we celebrate free speech every day.

Caroline Little is president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America in Arlington, Va.

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