Freedom Of Press Gives Us All A Voice

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When Secretary of State Colin Powell made his presentation to the U.N. Security Council, news media from around the world covered the event. But the people of Iraq were not allowed the privilege to see or hear what transpired. This is because Iraqi President Saddam Hussein controls the press and does not accept any public criticisms. He clearly does not believe in the four basic freedoms Americans enjoy and have fought to protect: freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble and freedom of religion.

Freedom of the press played an important role in the foundation of the constitution of the United States. Newspapers in the original 13 colonies called for independence from tyranny and oppression. Many of the founding fathers who signed the original Declaration of Independence were actively engaged in writing newspaper columns or, in some cases, even published their own newspapers.

Recently, certain members of the town council have criticized the Roundup and some of its readers over the dais for opinions expressed on the editorial page. Their comments may unintentionally send a bad message about public input and the role the media play in the community's political involvement.

We would like to make it clear that the newspaper staff and management support the work of the mayor and councilors. We appreciate the tough job they have in directing the affairs of the town. We also know from personal experience that, no matter what they do, they will not be able to please everybody.

There are times when we will praise members of the council for what we believe are positive steps and good leadership. But there also are times on this opinion page when we will call a foul a foul. This is part of the democratic system and we hope the council can appreciate and recognize this.

We are fortunate to live in a town with a variety of local media voices, from the radio stations to an evolving local cable channel -- these forums all play a vital role in our community.

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