Breckenridge Texan

Letter: Glenn Rogers stands in support with Breckenridge Texan

July 26
15:24 2020

To Ms. McKeown, Mr. Pilkington, and the readers of the Breckenridge Texan,

I read your letter to the Breckenridge community yesterday. I write to you today to stand in support with you.

Our wonderful country is the shining beacon of democracy in this world. We are asked to lead by example – sometimes begrudgingly, and sometimes we could do better. Nonetheless, other countries look to us as the example of what a country can be.

This is only possible because we have freedom of speech, which is supported and protected by the freedom of the press. These ideas were so incredibly important that our Founding Fathers enshrined them as the First Amendment.

In our current political climate, it is easy to get caught up in partisan news bickering promoted by cable news channels, online media outlets, and social media platforms like Facebook. These media platforms are fighting for ratings and advertising dollars. Partisanship and division give them attention and fatten their pocketbooks.

Our local media sources, however, strive to offer our communities objective, balanced news coverage. We might not always agree with how an issue is portrayed or how a story is presented, but these disagreements should not have us believe that these outlets are inherently against us.

In order for our communities and local governments to function, we must have local journalists who are willing to work on behalf of the people to hold our institutions accountable while giving the people a fair account of the news.

People and groups on the extreme ends of the political spectrum – left and right – want to “defund the media.” If this happens – if our hometown media outlets are defunded and their doors are closed, then the media outlets that are created and paid for by these extreme groups get to create and control the narrative surrounding our everyday lives.

Think about that for a moment: groups who have interest only in promoting their own agenda and zero interest in providing you with balanced information will ultimately control what information you have access to.

That is the very scenario that prompted our Founding Fathers to codify our right to a free press.

In Mineral Wells, we had to watch as our hometown newspaper, the Mineral Wells Index, was forced to shutter its doors after more than a century of providing our citizens with local news. Fortunately, we have a handful of people that understand the importance of local news that are trying to fill the void.

We can’t afford to “defund the media.” Our democracy – from the federal government to our city councils – depends on it.

Glenn Rogers, DVM
Graford, Texas

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