Opinion, WVPA Sharing

Opinion: Freedom of speech and the responsibilities of a free press

The Freedom of the press follows the right of free speech for all citizens.

A free and unbiased press should never challenge the right of an individual or group to express an opinion, nor should it dampen expression of free speech by demonizing the source.

The press has a responsibility to question an opinion and note the credentials of the source.

The press shows a bias and fails in its duty when its primary counter to an opinion is an attack on the credentials of the source.

Presenting facts and information to counter the arguments of an opinion allow members of the public to challenge the credentials and validity of the source.

Using facts and information gives the press credibility. Considering all sides of an argument keeps the press unbiased. Separating fair and accurate reporting from informed opinion earns public trust.

Such actions champion the right of free speech and defend freedom of the press.

Don Smith

Executive Director

W.Va. Press Association

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