It’s amazing what is happening in the news today. War in Ambazonia, Roe v Wade in the news each week with some states pushing for late-term abortion, the sex scandals that continue to wreak havoc on the church, human trafficking continuing to bring in billions of dollars for predators and criminals, and a nation divided more than I have ever seen in my lifetime.
That’s enough to keep a reporter writing seven days a week. Here at The Missions Tribune, we have often found ourselves as the Court of Last Resort. We receive many calls from those opposed, those seeking justice, those that have been denied their God-given rights and those that are trying to set the story straight and bring out the truth.
As the First Amendment of our Constitution states;
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It seems all of those freedoms are under attack today. Reporters are being detained on shaky legal grounds. Journalist Zachary Siegel was held in criminal contempt of court and arrested while covering the murder trial of Jason Van Dyke, a former Chicago police officer charged with murder in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald. Other reporters and photojournalist risk their lives on battlefields across the globe. Some of ours are at risk daily. I can tell you we are concerned when we don’t make contact with them, like now.
I watch as people in Venezuela and the Amba boys in Africa suffer many hardships because of the lack of freedoms that we take for granted. A man recently told me “there is nothing like going to a foreign country to really appreciate America”. He is so right.
Government officials just close down and refuse to answer questions or be held accountable for their acts. Paperwork disappears, co-workers develop amnesia, and the check and balances of the Fourth Estate are placed in jeopardy. That means we the people are placed in jeopardy. When government agencies or elected officials can control everything in their domain the only thing left to expose corruption is a Free Press, a press that is fair and tells the truth. Take the problems over the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. That should be exposed and reported. But also we have to report that thousands of priests and bishops are going to work each day making a better life for millions of people – like in Venezuela where they go hungry and suffer the same fate of their parishioners. Both stories need to be told.
Investigative journalism is costly and time-consuming. It takes a lot of shoe leather to knock on doors, read piles of paperwork, invoices, and memos. Newsroom staffs are shrinking today. What a shame. Now is the time we need more reporters, not less.
I think we should love our country and church and try to fix the things that are wrong and cherish the things that are right.
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