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BY DONALD SCHERSCHLIGT

May 3, 2019


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The New York Times stands tall for press freedom on Times Square.
“The Times Is Taking Down Its Paywall for 3 Days,” via the New York Times. “Every day, journalists at The Times and other mission-driven, independent news organizations around the world work hard to hold the powerful to account. To celebrate their work and press freedom, The Times is taking down its paywall from May 3 to 5 so everyone who registers can browse as many articles as they like.”
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” - Proverbs 18:21
Today is International Press Freedom Day, and boy, am I the only one who thinks we need press freedom more than ever? It feels like journalists are getting attacked from all sides these days. Powerful families like the Sinclairs and Murdochs are buying up local papers, laying off hundreds of reporters and placing their own biases into news stories. Meanwhile, some of the most powerful figures in our world are tolerating the press less and less, whether it’s Ariana Grande unleashing her massive fan base on a critic of her Coachella performance, Donald Trump once again referring to news outlets like CNN or the New York Times as the “enemy of the people,” or the Saudi government murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi. And sadly, as we’ve seen from events like the attempted CNN bombings, that intolerance trickles down into the rest of us.

But what if the press weren’t here? What if, as the New York Times writes, no one was watching? How we would have ever found out about the government separating children from their parents at the border? Would we have heard about the crisis in Yemen? Without journalists, would we know what was in the Mueller report?

The fact is, without journalists - not just the ones you see on TV each night, but the day-to-day working reporters that make a newsroom function - our nation cannot last. As our Scripture says, “the tongue has the power of life and death,” and it’s the tongues of journalists that help us discern the truth in an age of fake news and dishonest institutions. It's the power of the press that gives life to our democracy. It’s up to us to protect them.
Take advantage of reading the New York Times these next few days while their content is free. And when that paywall goes back up, please consider subscribing to a newspaper, including your local one! Journalism is a necessity in our society, and it doesn’t survive unless we put our money where our mouths are.
Mother God, we thank you for the people who devote their lives to truth-telling, for journalists and reporters who face criticism and even put their lives at risk to make sure we know what’s happening in the world. Protect the press and give them strength, God, to overcome media conglomerates with ulterior motives, politicians who baselessly attack their character, and corrupt regimes threatening their lives. Empower us to continue standing for truth in all aspects of our society. Amen.
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