Friday, February 16, 2007

This Hurts, But...

I am probably going to take some flak for this locally, but Kurt Bonham is correct on this issue. He and I disagree on most things (at least thus far), but open access to information and opinion, via blogs, newspaper stories, or a sheet of paper tacked to a telephone pole, is the bedrock of free speech. I'm also not keen on the idea that those of us who work for the government, be it local, state or federal should have to adhere to a more restricted freedom of speech. I would agree that there are basic rules we should probably follow: some information should be restricted (if good reasons are offered) and we probably should not claim to speak FOR the organizations at which we work. But outside of that, the sky should pretty much be the limit. The idea that a local paper should have exclusive access to reporting local issues is ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

I agree but where did the paper say "a local paper should have exclusive access to reporting local issues"?
That was never said or alluded to.
The truth is the paper and radio staff are usually the only outsiders are many meetings and as humans can only report their perceptions in a column or the news without opinion in a straight story.
Come to a city council meeting and see that Kurt Bonham is a pompous ass.

Christopher O'Brien said...

I am not suggesting that the paper shouldn't be at city council meetings. And if the paper did not claim or allude to exclusive rights it at least alluded to the idea that Kurt should not be reporting on city council meetings - either way, both positions are on the road to censorship. Kurt may or may not be a pompous ass (and believe me, I have my own thoughts on that!) only point is that you don't beat pompousity by limiting it - you beat it by competing with it. If the paper did not suggest Kurt should be limited in how he reports issues, then I stand corrected. But I am very sensitive to even a SUGGESTION of free speech limits without solid justification.