The newspaper: The nation talking to itself#039;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2003

In our democracy, we rely on a free press to stand as one our society's cornerstones.

Without a free press, there can be no consent of the governed, no informed decision-making and no watchdog of the public funds and servants.

We use our free press to chronicle the lives of our readers throughout their lives and our community.

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During this, National Newspaper Week, we say thank you to our families, readers, subscribers and advertisers for taking part in our community's free press.

This newspaper is our community talking to itself.

As journalists, we understand we have a public trust and responsibility.

Therefore, we'd like to offer the following Journalist’s Creed that we live by on a daily basis.

It was written by

Walter Williams, the former dean of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism.

n We believe in the profession of journalism.

n We believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust.

n We believe that clear thinking and clear statement, accuracy, and fairness, are fundamental to good journalism.

n We believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true.

n We believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other than the welfare of society, is indefensible.

n We believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman; that bribery by one’s own pocketbook is as much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends.

n We believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that the supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.

n We believe that the journalism which succeeds best — and best deserves success — fears God and honors man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power, constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance, and, as far as law and honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship; is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.

We thank you for allowing us the privilege and honor of chronicling your life and lives of your family and friends.

We hope to always, as your newspaper,

reflect this great community talking to itself.