We the media stand united

We the people of the media stand united in defense of the First Amendment and loyal to the public we are charged with serving.

Today, the Golden Gate Xpress joins college and professional media outlets across the country to condemn recent attacks on the freedom of the press. The current administration has declared a war on media, which threatens the free exchange of information essential to our democratic way of life and as public servants, we can no longer remain silent.

The code of ethics prescribed by the Society of Professional Journalists begins with a simple statement: seek truth and report it.

Never in U.S. history has there been a time when that responsibility has been so heavy and so necessary.

We as a country are facing daily blows to the constitutional rights that have long-served as the foundation of our national identity. We as citizens are divided by political ideology and burdened with determining which side of history to stand on. We as journalists are challenged to remain objective and fearless in a landscape bent on silencing us. This is a challenge we accept.

Journalists are acutely aware of the honor and responsibility bestowed on us by the Founding Fathers, and we enter this field with a passion to uphold that charge. The U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of the press as a way to protect the country.

Dictatorships and autocracies gain power when they assert control over communication and dissemination of information. In light of that, it is cause for alarm that the president and his administration have taken such extreme measures to exclude several media outlets from press conferences and dismiss reported facts as “fake news.”

When a leader must insulate himself from public transparency, there is reason to believe he has something to hide, and that is when we need ethical journalists most. If anything good has come from the recent backlash against the press, it is the renewed spirit and commitment to the tradition of muckraking.

As editor-in-chief of this publication and on behalf of the staff that works tirelessly to serve you, I make you the following promises. We will not be bullied. We will continue to look for truth and uncover corruption and injustice wherever they may be. We will not allow our personal biases to prevent us from seeking every side of every story, because the stories we tell are yours, not ours. We will do everything in our power to get it right, but when we fail, we will hold ourselves accountable and correct our errors. We will strive to unite our readers by sharing perspectives that challenge perceptions. We will not side with politics or any other institution, but rather what is in the best interest of the American people.

We remain loyal to you and you alone. And we will not relent.

We hope you will support the media today and always as we push back against these threats, but if not, we will still stand here protecting your right to be informed.

In these unprecedented times, it seems appropriate to channel a late, great pioneer journalist who helped free our country from the suppression under Senator Joseph McCarthy and his Communist witch hunts of the 1950s.

It is time for us to be inspired by those who never shied from the truth.

And so in the words of Edward Murrow, “Good night, and good luck.”

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