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Viewpoints - Independence Day

Editor's Note: America’s Newspapers and its members have a vested interest in helping the general public understand the essential role of a free press. Members are encouraged to publish this opinion piece and the accompanying editorial cartoon — or write their own editorial — to educate the public about this important issue.

On this Independence Day, it’s worth reflecting on the lessons the Founders have for us as we assess the role and the practices of the news media today. Most importantly, the press and the government may often have an adversarial relationship, but the government must not attempt to delegitimize the press and its work because they are essential to a free society.
Viewpoints - Fake News

Editor's Note: America’s Newspapers and its members have a vested interest in helping the general public learn how to discern facts from falsehoods. Members are encouraged to publish this opinion piece and the accompanying editorial cartoon — or write their own editorial — to educate the public about this important issue.

There is nothing wrong with the news media providing opinions, and it often plays an important role in explaining what the facts may mean. The problem comes when the audience doesn’t discern the difference between news and opinion.

Viewpoints - First Amendment

Editor's Note: America’s Newspapers’ advocacy efforts include protecting the ability of newspapers to keep Americans informed with truthful, objective reporting. Members are encouraged to publish this opinion piece and editorial cartoon or write their own to educate the public about this important issue.

In the past, journalists in the USA have been able to safely perform their work, as domestic acts of violence against them were a rare occurrence. However, during the recent protests we’ve seen journalists attacked on Main Streets across America. While some of these assaults can be accounted as inevitable injuries during the fog of civil unrest, many more appeared to be plainly purposeful attacks by police on reporters and photographers openly and lawfully doing their jobs.
Viewpoints from Across the Industry

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Joint Statement: Journalists are risking their lives to report on the protests and their safety must be ensured

The last several days, journalists have been risking their lives to report on the ground at the scenes of protests across the country in response to the death of George Floyd. We call on local law enforcement and government officials to recognize the importance of their role and ensure their safety during these dangerous and unpredictable events.

Also view guidance from Seyfarth Shaw for newspapers that plan to provide PPE (such as hard hats and glasses) to journalists covering protests, as well as a guide from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press that is designed to help journalists understand their rights at protests and avoid arrest when reporting on these events.
Viewpoints - COVID-19
While local newspapers continue to field reporters and bring news and advice from public health authorities in print and online — at considerable cost — their revenues have all but disappeared as the businesses that were their most important advertisers were shuttered. That’s why America’s Newspapers and other organizations representing local news providers are asking Congress to take urgent action to ensure you don’t lose your vital sources of timely and trustworthy information.
Many government entities in states across the country are using the COVID-19 public health crisis as an all-purpose excuse to tighten access or even close meetings that should be open to all, and dragging their feet or simply ignoring requests for records that belong to the public.

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America’s Newspapers is joining the News Media Alliance (the Alliance), the National Newspaper Association (NNA) and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in asking Congress to take action on two measures that would help ensure newspapers, radio and television stations can continue to provide critical news and information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just as communities generously support their restaurants and favorite stores by ordering take-out meals and gift cards, we hope you will also remember to support the staff of your local newspaper and the vital work newspapers do by subscribing in print or online. They are your neighbors — and they’ve got your back.
The value of information about COVID-19 that is being shared with the American people can be seen in the soaring increases in online traffic to newspaper sites and the life-saving actions the information inspires. But for newspapers, this civic stewardship has come at a cost as devastating as the damage to the economy at large.
Viewpoints - Sunshine Week
In an email last week to state labor officials, the administrator for the Labor Department’s Office of Employment Insurance instructed them not to release precise numbers of the unemployed in their states.  All of us should be disturbed by this attempt to delay the release of public information collected with the public’s tax dollars. The fact that this demand came during Sunshine Week makes it all the more galling.
From America's Newspapers: It is “ordinary” Americans — and not journalists — who make the most use of open meetings and freedom of information laws. Americans want to know what is going on in their public schools. They want to know how their town is spending money maintaining streets and sidewalks. They want to know how their property taxes compare to similar homes. They want to be in the room when a zoning change is proposed in their neighborhood. Sunshine Week is a perfect opportunity to remind Americans that is it their money that produces information that belongs to them, and it is their elected and appointed officials who must make decisions in front of them and not behind closed doors.