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Op-ed: Public discourse (by Peter Children)


This news story was published on December 15, 2011.
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In any society, public discourse is unparrell. You would think that would be the rigor in a democratic society….. but surprisingly it is not.

Look at Mason City as an example of what was and is taking place across the country. Newsprint is not free, the same for ink, so limits must be imposed at some level on how much space will be allowed for public comment. However this reason was also used to take advantages of public discourse and stifle the voice of opposition that was contrary to the policy of the newspaper and their stockholders.

Here you are limited to 300 words and one submission every three weeks, plus the threat of editing your comment without asking you. This editing could with few changes alter the direction of your thoughts…it could gut your message entirely…or they could just totally ignore your letter without cause. So much for public discourse.

Across the country the Internet has changed all of that; there are now thousands of Websites and Blogs that offer free comment from A to Z. It is proven that more lies are printed on newsprint than anywhere else in printed form, and it is equally understandable that the same warning carries over to Internet news and comment. In other words, be aware and do your own research.

Peter Children

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4 Responses to Op-ed: Public discourse (by Peter Children)

  1. Avatar

    Lawsteward Reply Report comment

    December 16, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I have often written to the GG thru their “Letters to the Editor” and more often that not they have changed or edited my words to the point that they no longer reflect my original thoughts or the point of the letter in the first place. Of course we first have to remember that the GG isn’t actually a newspaper anymore but merely a seller of paid advertising with small articles to fill the empty sales spots! Remeber…first those with no power are rounded up…then the free press is stifled…then the vote is taken away…well if you have studied your history, you know the rest of the story!

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    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 16, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Well said observer. Seems like NIT is the most open forum I have ever seen. But they keep it in good taste as much as they can from what I have seen. Can’t wait for the next Peter Children editorial!

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      Go Pack Reply Report comment

      September 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      This is true, NIT is the ONLY open forum at least in mason. First amendment is alive here!

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    Observer Reply Report comment

    December 16, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Adlai Stevenson III said to his constituents: “The first principle of a free society is an untrammeled flow of words in an open forum.”. He may not have originated these words, but his intent was clear, and practiced.