Vilvens signs with Mount St. Joseph SBAAC awards girls tennis all-stars Layman inducted into Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame SBAAC hands out awards to First Team girls’ soccer all-stars John D Marks Fourteen indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Commissioners donate to task force Voters return Worley to the bench Georgetown Police Department welcomes new officers Ruby A Ratliff Donna J Moore Stella M Glasscock Ellen L Gelter Alverda T Guillermin Justin N Beach EHS dedicates ‘Kiser Court’ SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, winning teams Sizer earns SBAAC American Division Volleyball Player of Year honors for 3rd straight year Broncos to host Blue Jays for OHSAA ‘Jimmy Young’ Foundation Game, Nov. 17 Vern W Kidd Jr Brown County Election Results – 2017 Michael D Hines Raymond W Napier Leslie E Boyle Gary L Barber Meth makes a comeback The bomber crash of 1944 4-H holds ‘shootout’ with BCSO County jobless rate falls Russell K Wolfer SHAC recognizes volleyball all-stars SHAC cross country all-stars take home awards Eastern girls finish runner-up in SHAC golf standings Week 10 football roundup Kathleen J Bright Sister Marjean Clement Veterans Service Office Moves G’town FFA has great fair Bald Eagles spotted 2017 Celebration of Lights being planned Eight indicted by grand jury Carlos L Beck Georgetown XC teams qualify for regional championship meet Warriors advance to Div. II Regional Meet Lady Rockets reach end to successful volleyball season Week nine football roundup Lady Warriors regional bound Amy J Caudill Bertha Lindsey Bobby S Conley Body found in ditch, investigation underway Former Aberdeen Fiscal Officer pleads guilty Keeping kids safe on the school bus Mary E Hahn Gary R Cornette Week 8 football roundup Notable soccer season reaches end for G-Men Lady Broncos are SBAAC American Division XC champs SHAC XC title goes to Lady Warriors Arthur Smith Eugene M Jennings Jr Billy R Kilgore Sr Carol D Roberts Thelma L Gray Sheriff Ellis meets President Trump Quarter Auction to pay for fire engine restoration Upcoming Quarter Raffle, Oct. 14 to benefit PRC Man found dead in ditch Rev Alvin B Woodruff Jackson L Russell Lady Broncos bring home 11th SBAAC American Division title in 12 years Lady Rockets wrap up regular season Warriors rally for win Broncos make it two in a row Helen L Whalen Veterans saluted at the Brown County Fair Fayetteville cancels school after threat Tommy J Stamper Sue Day Broncos move closer to SBAAC American Division title Lady G-Men working hard, showing improvement Sports complex soon to open in Mt. Orab Week 6 football roundup H Ray Warnock Jennings faces multiple sex offenses Georgetown nears water system completion Bible Baptist Barbeque brings big crowd Linda Taylor Rene Sizemore-Dahlheimer Eugene Snider Eric Workman Gregory Terry Edith M Moore Eileen Womacks Michael C Jennings Janice K Brunner Cheer squads compete at ‘Little State Fair’ Truck, tractor pulls draw a crowd at Brown County Fair Week 5 football roundup Lady Broncos rise to 11-6 with win over Batavia

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.

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By Jim Zachary

Contributing Columnist

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