Gazette Opinion: Support Freedom of Press in Montana

The Billings Gazette (Billings, MT), August 19, 2018 | Go to article overview

Gazette Opinion: Support Freedom of Press in Montana


Not the enemy

Complaints and hostility towards the press aren’t new. Journalists expect that readers and viewers will react to information that they see as particularly good or bad. It’s human nature to speak up louder and longer about what we don’t like.

But the level of angry comments and actions against U.S. journalists and news organizations have been ratcheted up in the past two years. More critics are condemning. Not only complaining about the facts, they are denying facts. These vocal press critics are taking their cues from President Donald Trump who has repeatedly called journalists the “enemy of the people” and incited his supporters to yell at and harass journalists.

Like other Gazette readers, members of the editorial board hear and see these presidential harangues, but we don’t usually respond. Instead, we keep doing our jobs. Gazette editors, reporters and photographers are out covering public meetings, emergencies, celebrations and community developments 365 days a year.

The opinion editor is sorting through email and mail, reading your letters and publishing them in our Voice of the Reader forum. Those letters, along with guest opinions, are presented on the opinion page because this page is different than our news pages. The opinion page is where people express their points of view.

On news pages, The Gazette staff works to present facts as objectively as possible. Sometimes not all facts are available, sometimes information changes or mistakes are made. But we are always striving to deliver the truth as fully and quickly as we can. …

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