Today is World Press Freedom Day.
To most people, it’s probably just another day — but to me, it’s one of the most important days of the year.
I run What’sUpNewp. I don’t do it because I favor a particular side. I do it because I favor the truth and I love the Newport and Rhode Island community. I run What’sUpNewp because my ability to keep you informed — from what’s happening in local and statewide government to bringing you interviews with musicians, comedians, small business owners, and politicians — is protected by the Constitution.
The people’s relationship with the press has always had its ups and downs. Ever since its invention, the printing press has been controversial. It makes sense. Information informs us — and also unnerves those who’d keep the truth hidden.
Sometimes it seems like we can’t get more polarized as a country. Sometimes, the media contributes to this notion.
I’m here to tell you that we’re all in this together. We’re more alike than not — and we all love Newport and Rhode Island.
The founders couldn’t have imagined the world we live in. But they protected freedom of the press because they’d seen firsthand what unchecked power will do.
A world without press freedom is one where government officials imprison journalists (or worse) for reporting on civil rights protests. It’s one where scammers or polluters enrich themselves without oversight. It’s one where you find out too late about, say, the risks of a pandemic or important information you need during a blizzard, hurricane, or natural gas outage.
If What’sUpNewp’s local, independent journalism has ever informed or helped you, please make a contribution in honor of World Press Freedom Day.
We can’t do this work without your support.
Ryan M. Belmore