Today is World Press Freedom Day. It’s not only meaningful to me as a former journalist, but also as an elected official because I see first-hand how the messages our community sees in the media affect our collective perceptions and decisions.
A free press is a hallmark of democracy. It holds people and institutions of power accountable for their actions, and gives a voice to those whose stories would otherwise go untold. It challenges us to consider facts and opinions beyond our own perspectives, and it gives us a view into people and places beyond our daily interactions.
The abundance of channels available to us now makes it more challenging than ever before to wade through the volume of information and filter out fact from misinformation. From newspapers to TV to web and social media platforms, there are endless choices for us all.
As consumers of content, we have much more of a responsibility to look at what we are seeing through a critical lens, and employ common sense and good judgement to help us decide if what we are reading and hearing is true.
It’s no easy task, I know.
Good, responsible journalism is not always easy to find. With the financial struggles many newspapers are facing in this digital age, it’s not an easy industry to maintain nor an easy career path to follow. Still, good journalists are out there — seeking to find answers, shine a light on important issues, and challenge the status quo.
I encourage our community to seek out the media that can be consistently trusted to hold themselves to a high standard of integrity, accuracy and professionalism, and support them with your viewership, however you can.
We need them more than ever.
— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward