My commentary today is personal. I have the privilege of leading the fine men and women of WWBT/NBC12 who work every day to report the news as it is happening. Our goal is to seek the truth and report it wherever it may be.
The assault this week by newly-elected Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte was a disgusting example of how some members of the press are treated. And unfortunately the negative sentiment and negative behavior toward members of the media is beginning to become acceptable behavior in the minds of too many.
Let’s first go back to the First Amendment and remember what was written: ”It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.” It is the First Amendment because it is one of the most important amendments.
When violence and destructive language is used to abuse members of any free press, it is an assault on all of us. How do you keep a society free if it is not properly informed? This does not mean that you have to agree with or condone all that you see, read or listen too, but it does mean that you should want and demand to be informed.
We must not only confront destructive behavior against the press, but we must insist that the press and those journalists from all news sources, continue to keep us informed.
Although freedom of the press does include the freedom to cover politics and politicians, it also means covering the news every day that affects the local community that you call home.
All citizens have the right to freely choose their news source and you should. We should never allow anyone to attempt to silence the reporting of news, because the next person they may want to silence could be you.