09/17/12 — Freedom to know: It should make you think -- the ways of other countries

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Freedom to know: It should make you think -- the ways of other countries

One of the most cherished rights we have as Americans is one that is often misunderstood -- and underappreciated.

Freedom of the press is a fundamental aspect of life in America. It allows news organizations to operate independently and freely in our nation -- and to share information without government filters or editing.

And while sometimes we might wish there were a few more restrictions on that reporting -- or perhaps question whether there might be an agenda in how that news is reported -- the truth is, a free press is vital to a healthy republic.

Some of the accounts of unrest in the Middle East have included commentary about how hard it is to get credible and honest information from news reports there.

Many people in those countries -- and really, in many around the world -- deal with sanitized and slanted news, when they can find it at all.

And you can see what happens when reports are not honest, not complete and designed to accomplish a certain task.

Ignorance is a real concern in the battle for the hearts and minds of Muslims. The radicals flourish because of the influence of propaganda that leaders use to control the public.

We undervalue as Americans the freedom we have to know what is really happening -- and that we have the right to question our leaders.

All of that adds up to liberty -- the most precious gift and best part of being an American.

Published in Editorials on September 17, 2012 10:23 AM