In its editorial of July 26 supporting passage of The Local Journalism Sustainability Act, “Press Yes for Journalism,” the Editorial Board stated, “Local journalism is an important element of American society . . .”. I agree with that statement, but I am concerned that the press, local and national, cannot be an important element of society if it relies on the beneficence of government for its survival, even if the beneficence is merely tax credits.
The press’s important element of society is its providing the people with factual information that will enable them to govern themselves, including information about their government and elected officials. That information must be accurate and it must be credible. Objective reporting that is free of any indication of bias is essential to credibility.
If the press is dependent on government for its survival, there is, at least, the appearance that the press is compromised and will not report objectively information concerning government officials. For example, the editorial urges readers to encourage Rep. Chip Roy to support The Local Journalism Sustainability Act. Readers may wonder whether the Daily Times’s future coverage of Rep. Roy will be influenced, or perceived as being influenced, by the action he takes.
Robert Barton, Kerrville