by WorldTribune Staff, April 5, 2017
America is facing a breakdown in the free press which endangers the nation, say a group of news professionals who are taking action in response.
The crisis came glaringly to the forefront during the 2016 presidential election and coverage of the ensuing Trump administration, according to the Internet site for Free Press Foundation.
“The proliferation of new media platforms has ushered in the “information age” but has also increased confusion as “spin” and “narratives” overwhelm consumers who are too often not inclined to exercise critical thinking.”
Free Press Foundation was established to “revive, sustain and provide for the education and training of future generations of news reporters, editors, artists, producers and other ‘content providers’ ”.
“For many of us, the free press has been our life but also something none of us takes for granted,” Foundation Advisory Board member Robert Morton said.
“Today, in 2017, that fundamental First Amendment freedom is at risk. The intent is to join forces with all Americans who grasp the importance of restoring a free, independent and competitive press for the sake of Truth and future generations.”
The tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) Free Press Foundation supports the work of professional journalists and conducts Washington, D.C.-based Free Press Reporting-Writing-Editing internships for qualified students with instruction and mentoring by members of the Free Press Foundation Advisory Board and other working journalists with national and international experience.
The Foundation’s Advisory Board includes:
- Brett Decker, bestselling author who has written for America’s three largest newspapers – The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today: “An essential part of a free press is being a fair press, but that doesn’t exist anymore when there is no difference between the front page and the editorial page. Beat journalism needs to return to straight news reporting without the partisan advocacy.”
- Robert Morton, Editor at the John Peter Zenger News Foundation, Senior Editor at WorldTribune.com and longtime senior editor at The Washington Times: “As vital as the air we breathe, the Free Press bridges the worlds of the known and the unknown.”
- Todd Allen, president of the John Peter Zenger News Foundation and Kingsdale Media, based in Wake Forest, North Carolina: “The first duty of a newspaper is to be accurate. If it be accurate, it follows that it is fair.” – Richard Kluger
- Jeffrey Kuhner, host of The Kuhner Report on WRKO AM-680 in Boston and a columnist at World Tribune.com: “In an age of ‘fake news’, there is a deep need for an alternative to the corrupt ‘mainstream media’. The free press is needed now more than ever before.”
- Dr. Willy Lam, Adjunct Professor at the History Department and the Center for China Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong: “Free Press is of particular concern to me because it is key to the democratization of authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia. Nurturing freedom of expression and responsible journalism, especially among developing nations, is the responsibility of every intellectual in the free world.”
- Sol Sanders, an Asian specialist with more than 25 years in the region, and a former correspondent for Business Week, U.S. News & World Report and United Press International: “The proliferation of media, including the ease and economy with which one can ‘publish’ on the internet, poses a new threat to the free press by making it even more difficult to search out the truth. It is this new challenge that the Free Press Foundation seeks to help meet.”
- Donald Kirk, a journalist based mainly in Asia since 1965: “A free press is the final line of defense against dictatorship and tyranny.”
- Dr. Grace Vuoto, host of American Heartland with Dr. Grace, on WRKO 680 AM, Boston: “The mainstream media has lost much of its credibility; we therefore desperately need media outlets that provide accurate reports, reflecting the concerns, needs and values of the American people. Free Press Foundation is helping to fill that critical void.”
- David Isaac, who has 25 years in the news business, writing for Investor’s Business Daily, the American Enterprise Institute and The Washington Free Beacon, to name a few: “A free press is a pillar of our democracy, its protection appearing in the First Amendment for that reason. Unfortunately, the press in this country has fallen into a sorry state, where journalists all too often choose advocacy over impartiality, propaganda over facts.”
- Ted Agres, deputy managing editor at The Washington Times from its founding in 1982 until 2010: “The free press is essential for an informed public and to maintain the proper balance between those who govern and those who are governed.”
- David Morgan, the founding publisher and editor of the Asheville Tribune and affiliated newspapers in western North Carolina: “Mark Twain often said, ‘Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.’ The same is true of the media. I wanted to do something about the media and am grateful for the freedom of the press in this great country which allowed me to do so.”
- Carter L. Clews, the Director of Communications for Judicial Watch: “A truly free, honest and objective press is the guardian of liberty and the guarantor of equity. Without it, tyrants run amok and the masses are run to ground. With it, a strong and free people know where to direct their ire — and where to aim their fire. Without a free press, there can be no free republic.”