"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
On this Independence Day, more than ever, it's important to remember that one of the defining characteristics of this nation's founding was the commitment to a free press.
And, if any proof was needed, the past few weeks have shown the vital role that journalism plays in Oregon, whether it is our reporting on questionable police tactics during Portland protests; the assault charges against a Washington County deputy; covering the sudden shakeup in Gresham's government; or calls to oust the mayor in Oregon City.
These are stories that, frankly, many public officials would prefer we don't cover. But we do. Because our loyalty is not to the government, but to the truth.
As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once wrote, "That the First Amendment speaks separately of freedom of speech and freedom of the press is no constitutional accident, but an acknowledgment of the critical role played by the press in American society."
Our ability to play that critical role is under assault. From political leaders who try to undermine our credibility and limit our access to public documents to market forces that have reduced our revenues.
The "free press" isn't free and increasingly, we depend on direct support from people like you. So today, as we celebrate our nation's independence, please consider supporting your local journalists exercising their constitutional right to hold our government accountable to "we, the people."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.