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Newspapers stand guard for freedoms

This week is National Newspaper Week.

Sponsored by the Newspaper Association Managers, it’s a week that has been set aside for the past 81 years to recognize the service of newspapers and their employees and what they mean to the residents of the communities they serve.

This year’s theme is Community Forum, standing as a timely reminder, given the ever increasing attacks on the individual rights we all enjoy as Americans, and the men and women whose responsibility it is to stand guard over them.

Developed alongside the Relevance Project, the theme is designed to show that in order to have an enlightened democracy, there must be news literacy, trust in newspapers and a critical examination of issues that have an effect on the community.

An important part of that equation is the efforts of journalists, like those at The Vindicator, who work tirelessly each day to keep you informed and to defend the rights and freedoms we enjoy. It’s a job that has never been easy, and it’s one that has become even more difficult of late, thanks to daily attacks from all sides, with claims of “fake news” and “lies” thrown around daily at all levels of government.

We are known in the business as a community newspaper. On the pages each day you will find news that’s important to you — a mission that we have been fulfilling daily for more than 150 years. The Vindicator has reported countless stories in that time, stories that offered new insights into your friends and neighbors, stories that have made readers think and stories that have helped hold local and regional government officials accountable.

Without that steady flow of unbiased information, area residents would find it difficult to make good decisions about the things that affect their day-to-day lives and to formulate opinions of their own. Differing opinions are important — they encourage conversation and thought, and are critical to making our democracy work. We offer daily opinion pieces, local editorials and syndicated columnists, and we invite readers to share their opinions each week by writing letters to the editor, submitting soundoffs and through guest columns.

Standing guard over our freedoms, holding government and elected officials responsible and serving as an advocate for members of the public on numerous levels — that’s a lot to ask of our journalists and our newspapers.

It’s a challenge we willingly take on because those basic rights outlined in the First Amendment must be protected.

editorial@vindy.com

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