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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WWWW: World Press Freedom Day

From the website:"Every year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession."

World Press Freedom Day is tomorrow, and I think this a time to reflect on exactly what that means.

What is "free press"? According to, it's a noun that means "a body of book publishers, news media, etc., not controlled or restricted by government censorship in political or ideological matters."

Wikipedia says: "Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials. While such freedom mostly implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state, its preservation may be sought through constitutional or other legal protections."

So do we have "free press" in the United States? Really? This being an election year, I think I can safely say hell no, we don't! As anyone can see, the media is under the mistaken belief that there are only two political parties. There aren't. The media in general is also overly obsessed with actors, musicians, professional athletes and people who somehow have found their way onto our televisions. In the grand scheme of things, every little thing those people do is not news. It's gossip and I'm sick of seeing it on the front page of anything. So while I think World Press Freedom Day is a great idea, and certainly should be acknowledged, I also believe the general press in this country needs to reevaluate. Just what does freedom mean? While it means they can report on absolutely anything they deem worthy, I think they truly need to stop and think, But should we?

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