My turn: Celebrating our First Amendment rights - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My turn: Celebrating our First Amendment rights

Our founding fathers fought, and some even lost their lives, to be able to put in place a great republic based on the freedoms we continue to enjoy today. (Source: Pixabay) Our founding fathers fought, and some even lost their lives, to be able to put in place a great republic based on the freedoms we continue to enjoy today. (Source: Pixabay)

Edward R. Murrow is considered the example of journalistic excellence in our industry.  And this is what he said about the role of journalism in society: “To be persuasive, we must be believable. To be believable we must be credible. To be credible we must be truthful.”

Now, more than ever it seems, the truthful aspect is under attack, which means the foundation of journalism is also under the gun. 

When people started talking about “fake news,” it quickly changed from blatantly false information to news that you might not agree with.  It’s much easier to say something is wrong instead of trying to understand the nuance of the debate that is taking place. 

Now we’re escalating past disagreement and argument to violence towards those reporters seeking the truth.  That’s scary. 

Our founding fathers fought, and some even lost their lives, to be able to put in place a great republic based on the freedoms we continue to enjoy today.

I believe chief among those is the First Amendment granting us, among other things, free speech and freedom of the press.  It is considered by many the cornerstone of our democracy.

I hope we never see the day that freedom of the press is weakened by misguided legislators.  When that right is lost, all human rights will not be far behind.  

That’s my turn. Now it’s your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at  

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.

Emailed comments from viewers:

Just saw your program and you are right, as usual.  I am a retired news director and have always believed that irresponsible journalism is responsible for much of the misinformation that is being fed to the public.  Edward R. Murrow also had it right, per your quote this evening, and it is such a shame that some writers/reporters seek only to create controversy and unrest, or simply to stir the stew of strife, which frequently puts them in the spotlight which was their real purpose to begin with.

I don't always get to watch you but enjoy it when I do.  And it is encouraging to know that someone who has voice and is willing to use it will continue to stand up for ethics and integrity.  Thank you, and keep  uo the good work.


I am more than concerned that you did not mention the elephant in the room...Donald Trump. He is the one responsible for fake news/ alternative facts...not "those individuals" you reference. If you still believe "those individuals" then please expose them.


Before you can be believed, you must check your facts and tell the truth. Freedom of speech does not mean you can lie, cheat, fabricate info or just plane ole make it up to suit you.  Responsible journalism has gone out rhe window.  You should all be sued if you make up fake news that damage another person..  Shameful reporting tonight.  You need replaced!!


I firmly believe  that our forefathers tried to prevent despotism in our country and the only way to do that was to set up the first amendment.  
Although everyone is afforded the freedom of speech, I wonder what your thoughts are on the current president's use of this right to disparage reporters who question him?


You need to report the NEWS, that's all, not have a bias opinion, let the reader form their own, this has been missing for years. Please, but I know you won't. 


Hope lots of folks see or hear this.  Bulls eye!


Some of your comments and remarks supporting the "Truthful Press" of today, is questioned by many. I for one!

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the press today reports all too much incorrect, biased, and or tainted view in their reporting and their commentary regarding the current state of the US and politics versus reporting the actual and factual truth. Yes, I believe that there is Questionable news today!
  News today has now become contagious reporting! No consequences breeds increased capability for the deliberate obscuring of the total facts. Reporting only parts versus the totality of the facts is also know as non-truth, and lack of credibility. We see this all too often now.  

I view today's "frenzy of reporting" as likely prejudicial journalism, and that which was NOT present during the Edward R. Murrow years. As you correctly described, he did report persuasion, belief, credibility, and truth. Violence and slanted opinions did not exist in journalism during his era of broadcasting. Why is this not true today? Too many reporters without censorship from the network who employs them??? Maybe YES! Networks are held responsible.... True!

Presently, at times, it is difficult to sort out what actually occurred or exists in a report. 

The press has created much of this unhealthy atmosphere of today, and not to say that the legislators are not without quilt; but both have created the ugly and slanted untruths the nation is subjected to in the daily delivery of "so called credible" news reporting. 

I do listen to, and read all sides, and then form my own opinions. NBC frequently adds their own bias and twist to their reporting, and does not always report the factual truth. FACT! 

Likewise, the other mainstream broadcasting stations perform similarly under the present atmosphere. Reporting has gotten to the point of non-objective reporting. A Fact again! 

And promotes lack of respect for the press.
I no longer choose to listen to the Sunday AM panel discussion broadcasts!!  They are all too opinionated with no insight added to the discussion for any problem solving in their discussions. Just debating which leads no where! FACT!

Yes, the factual and credible truth is under attack by the press. They have the broad reach to the public that the media engages in today, and which was non-existent years ago. And with so much coverage by so many reporters, who can, at times, sort out the actual truth? This nation and the public deserves more!

I viewed your commentary last night with the understanding that your belief was the opposite of what many viewers do perceive and receive daily; and that you believe that honest and credible reporting exists today. Another questionable subject. 

 The uneducated individual (who listens and reads only to the mainstream media) in our society today cannot discern either the credible, half truths or false news statements, and then struggles with so many questioned facts; thus creating a chaotic and negative society. That is where I believe the violence begins, and DID begin. Poor and careless reporting!! FACT!

When can we expect credible reporting again?? It is time to take the responsibility you have been given, and to be objective once more, and give the public the honest reporting they deserve, and the credibility you deserve. I do not intend to place the entire blame on the press alone, however, the free press is the voice in the public's ear 24/7!! There is a saturated arena today. Fact!

I am old enough to have lived through the times when the NEWS was the responsible and the credible News Agency that it was, and should be. How we survived with so few newscasters was likely a blessing. The news was reported one time every evening, and only 3 stations in our very large metropolitan city area. And No more programing after 10 PM when all the networks shut down daily, and only a round circle appeared on your TV screen until the next AM! 

Today the field of reporting has saturated our world, and this alone can create too much diversion from the factual truth. Too many unsupported opinions is what one can view on that TV screen today, and which is everywhere one goes about daily, and which is also much larger than the 1st TV screens attracting your attention.....10 or less inches, I believe!!  

Violence is also in so many TV programs we watch today. We need to return to some the days of "I Love Lucy", "Carol Brunette", "Howdy Doody", "The Lone Ranger", and "Father Knows Best". Comedy and light- hearted broadcasting then was as American as apple pie!

Yes, freedom of speech is granted in the 1st Amendment to all.  And yes, there can be, and always will be controversy and differences of opinions, but not to the extent of the turmoil that exists today and which has been created in part by the Free Press. Another TRUTH!  I only pray and ask that the press is listening to the Entire Nation they serve, versus their own Democratic population alone, and begins to examine their delivery for non-self interest and reverts back toward objectivity and credibility during these turbulent times. Peace in our own nation is what we now need and want!


Press only tells what they think is news not real true news Liberal news only try to report the other side of the coin too?


I totally support the 1st Amendment! News opinion fine!  Opinion fine!  Interpretation of statements fine! Facts not supported and verified  by the National Media is propaganda, bias for political party basis and diminishes intent of the 1st Amendment on expressing opinion and the interpretation of true events and statements.  You can quote me.  "Make America Great Again"!

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