The Savannah Tribune, joins in solidarity with the Savannah Morning News and the more than 300-plus newspapers and media outlets across the county, who on last Thursday, August 16th, jointly defended the “Free Press,” “Free Speech,” and the premise of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. This edition of The Tribune is the first printed since the nationwide effort on August 16th, and we too, are emphatically declaring that The Savannah Tribune, as a media out, is not an “enemy of the people” who prints “fake news” as being constantly asserted by the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump. The editorials, printed nationwide on August 16th by daily and weekly media outlets across the spectrum from large cities to small towns, illustrated historically and relatively, the value of a “Free Press” to a democracy and the “Free Press” as a major source that keeps citizens in the communities we serve informed about local, regional and national issues that impact our personal lives on a daily basis. Each of us is affected by the economy, the environment, the justice system, and rules, regulations and laws that define our rights and priviledges such as our accessibility to education, health care, housing and transportation, as well as voting rights, to name a few. Our media outlets help keep us informed about changes and updates in governing systems that serve as guiding principles for our daily activities so that we can function in an orderly and respectful fashion as law-abiding citizens. In addition, as citizens, we need to be continuously informed about the roles, responsibilities and accountability that the local, state and federal governmental officials whom we elect, and those appointed, play in determining our equal access to the basic inalienable rights that are embedded in our democratic system of government which affect how we live. The “Free Press” provides information based on journalistic research for truth and facts, and yes, sometimes “Opinions,” but the opinions are based on facts, from which citizens can dis cern on their own, utilizing critical thinking, as how to react and respond by engaging in actions that best serve them and the communities in which they live. Informed citizens become actively engage in their communities by participating in the political process (voting and/ or serving as an elected official), volunteering, mentoring and sharing facts about movements in world history that have shaped the trajectory of societies and influenced their forms of government throughout the ages.
It is through the “Free Press” that we are made aware of cultural, sports, faith-based, family and community events and activities that take place which provide opportunities for us to participate and enhance our cultural development and socialization outreach in places where we meet new people, strengthen and renew relationships and learn to appreciate more about the true heritage of the diverse, multi-cultural society upon which our democratic United States of America is based. The press celebrates with us on special occasions and mourns with us in times of sadness. We also provide a platform for you to voice your opinions in Letters to the Editor and feature columns. So if providing information that guides daily living and serving as a platform where your voice can be heard labels the “Free Press” as “enemies of the people,” then are you, our readers and contributors, also “enemies of yourselves – the people?” I don’t think so!
Should we allow censorship of the media? Should we be complacent and continue to allow authoritarian and dictatorship type rhetoric and propaganda emanating from the seat of the Presidency, the highest level and supposedly protector of our democratic system of government – a government that is supposed to be by the people and for the people – consistently cast doubt and trust in your minds about truth, facts and the “Free Press?” This can lead to undermining and destroying our democracy. Should we become more active and assertive in our responsibilities as citizens and hold the members in the three (3) branches of our federal government (Executive, Congressional, Judicial) accountable to their duties and responsibilities as the Check and Balance system designed by our forefathers when they formed this Union and composed the Constitution of the United States of America?
The “Press” has been in operation in America since the 17th Century. The Savannah Tribune has been in existence since 1875, and we, at The Tribune, pledge to remain true to our legacy and mission: to advocate for the uplift of our community, address issues and concerns that impact the citizens in our community, and chronicle the contemporary activities of African Americans in Savannah and the nation. The Savannah Tribune shall continue with truth, facts and various “opinions” as a “Friend of the People” because WE ARE THE PEOPLE.