We stand for the First Amendment, defend the truth

The First Amendment — free speech and freedom of the press — is more important than ever before.

So said U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow as she sat with Alpena News editors this week during a visit to Northeast Michigan.

Stabenow, in discussing civility in politics and the tone in government, said she was appalled at the treatment of the press and how people are quick to label journalists as “the enemy” these days.

“I have a growing appreciation of the work of the Fourth Estate,” she said. Journalism often is viewed as the Fourth Estate because of its influence on politics and society.

And, despite the rhetoric of President Donald Trump about “fake news,” journalists from Alpena to Houghton to Monroe take their pursuit of fair and accurate reporting very seriously.

Today, newspapers across the United States are joining together in their editorials to proclaim their continued pursuit of the truth and to remind readers that journalists are “not the enemy” and not purveyors of “fake news.”

A free and independent press is essential to democracy, and legislators like Stabenow understand that. She shared that not always does she agree with something that has been reported, but she knows that in the end the truth always prevails in news stories.

For community newspapers like The Alpena News, unbiased and objective reporting is essential. It is the foundation of our newspaper each day and the rock on which we stand. And, because of that, when we see a right, we will share that and celebrate it with readers. Likewise, when we see a wrong, we will expose it and report on it.

We take very seriously the honor of being your trusted news source in Northeast Michigan.

Today, we stand together with editorial boards across the United States in solidarity and support of the First Amendment and an end to the assault on our profession.