Georgia E Smith Jonathan C Gee Wenstrup discusses regulations, drug issue Woman charged with injecting pregnant woman Public meeting on drug problem draws large crowd BC Chamber of Commerce looks for nominees Mary A Brauns Lynn V Augline Denise A McCleese Tommy E Vaughn Beulah M White Anthony Dozier Moore sentenced to 16 years in prison for assault Tea Party holds candidate forum Hamersville Police Dept. introduces newest officer Russellville Council takes action on closing alleys Anthony R Traylor Caryl J Eyre Jays clinch 2nd in SHAC Division I Week 7 football roundup Battle between Eastern, Ripley ends in tie Broncos are SBAAC American Divison champs Lady Rockets enter final game of regular season on 3-game win streak Lady G-Men claim wins over Manchester, Bethel-Tate Lady Broncos win at New Richmond, rise to first in SBAAC American Division standings Judge approves sale of hospital Trump losing support in Ohio delegation Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Joyce A Mignerey George W Kilgore Vernon Creighton Brittany A Perkins Sister Jane Stier Jeff Bess Russell Rockwell Lady Warriors looking to get back to winning ways G-Men rise to 2nd in SBAAC Nat’l Division Western Brown volleyball team jumps to 12-6 with wins over Norwood, CNE Week six football roundup Track champions determined at MRP in an exciting night of racing action Sectional tourney play begins for Western Brown girls tennis Phillips, Sininger advance to district golf tourney Christopher W Baker Sherry A Napier Betty L Kelley Virginia E Deininger Shirley J Carr 2016 Brown County Fair comes to an end Coroner appeals ruling on Goldson investigation Ripley Federal merges with Southern Hills RUCK March set to raise veteran suicide awareness Louise I McCann Louise I McCann Jackie Garrison Kathy S Jordan Rockets rally for first league win Lady Broncos rise to 10-6 with win at Wilmington Broncos begin quest for SBAAC American Div. title Lady G-Men looking to bounce back from recent losses SHAC golf season in the books Lady Rockets top Whiteoak Fair Royalty chosen for 2016 Troop Box Ministry still going strong after 15 years Three sentenced in Common Pleas Alex K Miller Denvil Burchell Maneva H Teague Vincent A Cluxton Stanley J Brannock Robert L Dyer Mary L Phillips Broncos gallop to 9-0-1 with win over G-Men Tight battle continues for SBAAC American Division volleyball title Jays rally for win over Rockets Week 4 football roundup Sininger is SBAAC Nat’l Division Golfer of Year Lady Rockets top CCD, fall to CNE Janet R Reveal Paul D Hines Gas skimmers stealing identities Democrats meet in G’town Humane Society horses now up for adoption New ‘B-Fit Program’ at this year’s fair Drug Task Force marijuana eradication Cheryl L Sams Aaron S Cartwright Tommie E Stout Rockets soar past the Warriors, 5-0 G-Men place runner-up in Vern Hawkins XC Invite Lady Warriors cruise to victory over Fayetteville Broncos remain unbeaten at 6-0-1 Lady G-Men win at Ripley Week 3 football roundup Broncos lead after round two of SBAAC American Division play Ohana Music Festival a huge success Man charged with 292 counts of child porn possession G’Town Council resolves zoning issues, to hold public meeting on medical marijuana Chase pleads guilty to obscenity charges Georgetown Nativity Scene to be on display, much longer this year Georgetown Police Chief Rob Freeland, updates council on village happenings

Newspaper Week highlights power of the press

The power of the press should never be underestimated and must never be abused.

This week marks the 75th anniversary of National Newspaper Week and the theme — The Power of the Press — points to the importance of watchdog journalism, accurate reporting, strong editorials, comprehensive public notices and a free, open public forum.

In 1841, Thomas Carlyle wrote about the power of the press, conjuring the words of Edmond Burke.

“Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all.”

Burke may have been chiding the press for its sense of itself, but Carlyle used his words to write about the importance of newspapers to democracy.

In an often quoted letter to Edward Carrington, Thomas Jefferson wrote that if he were to have to choose between “a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Democracy is best served when the newspaper provides checks and balances as the Fourth Estate of government. Newspapers are not the enemy of government — rather we are the champions of ordinary men and women.

Newspapers are not bullies out to pick a fight. Rather, they hold public officials accountable, advocate for openness in government and champion the cause of the public because they are committed to the neighborhoods, cities, counties, states and coverage areas they serve.

With intelligent, thoughtful, compelling commentary, coupled with clearly written, straightforward news reporting, newspapers wield the power of the press in ways that make communities better by giving a voice to the voiceless and empowering the powerless.

Newspapers hold government accountable because at our very core we believe that government belongs to the governed and not to the governing.

If newspapers do not stand up for the public, protect the rights of free speech and the rights of access to government, then no one will.

Newspapers are the most powerful advocate the public can have and for that reason should always provide an open forum for a redress of grievances.

Any newspaper that represents the interests of the governing more than the interests of the governed is not worth the paper it is printed on or the ink that fills its pages.

Newspapers, the good ones, use their power to make a difference in the communities they serve, by accurate reporting, comprehensive coverage and strong commentary.

Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” A newspaper should always be just that — a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” —committed to serving the public in real and meaningful ways.

Jim Zachary is a newspaper veteran who has championed government transparency. He is the editor of the Valdosta (Ga.) Daily Times, director of The Transparency Project of Georgia, founder of the Tennessee Transparency Project, vice-chairman of the board of the Red & Black newspaper serving the University of Georgia and a member of the board of directors of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.

By Jim Zachary

Contributing Columnist

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