Publishers’ group warns of threats to democracy
Community newspaper publishers, editors, and executives from across the United States resoundingly voted over the weekend to reaffirm their commitment to a free press undisturbed by unannounced police raids.
Meeting in Washington, National Newspaper Association members representing community newspapers in 31 states took their concerns to Capitol Hill.
Association chairman John Galer, publisher of The Journal-News in Hillsboro, Illinois, discussed his visit to the Marion County Record shortly after local police raided the Record’s newsroom.
By acclamation, publishers adopted a resolution that updated positions taken in the 1970s when newsroom raids were last visible.
“Although most in our communities highly value our local news and information,” Galer said, “there is no question that the national atmosphere has encouraged extremists to come out of the woodwork to threaten our existence.
“We were very sad to watch the Marion County Record get crippled by the acts of one local police department, but the saddest part is that we were not surprised. We watch local newspapers close every year because of economic and security threats. “It is time for us to speak up with our loudest voices: Community newspaper journalism is the glue that holds local democracies together..”