Ken's View: You are the media
By Ken Robinson
You are now and always have been “the media”, the ‘Press” and the “MainStream Media.” Ever since Publick Occurrences, America’s first newspaper, was first published in 1690.
Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick was the first multi-page newspaper published in the Americas. Before then, single-page newspapers, called broadsides, were published in the English colonies and printed in Cambridge in 1689. The first edition was published September 25, 1690, in Boston, then a city in the Dominion of New England, and was intended to be published monthly, "or, if any Glut of Occurrences happen, oftener." It was printed by American Richard Pierce of Boston, and it was edited by Benjamin Harris, who had previously published a newspaper in London. The paper contained four 6-by-10-inch pages, but filled only three of them.
No second edition was printed because the paper was shut down by the Colonial government on September 29, 1690, who issued an order as follows:
Whereas some have lately presumed to Print and Disperse a Pamphlet, Entitled, Publick Occurrences, both Forreign and Domestick: Boston, Thursday, Septemb. 25th, 1690. Without the least Privity and Countenace of Authority. The Governour and Council having had the perusal of said Pamphlet, and finding that therein contained Reflections of a very high nature: As also sundry doubtful and uncertain Reports, do hereby manifest and declare their high Resentment and Disallowance of said Pamphlet, and Order that the same be Suppressed and called in; strickly forbidden any person or persons for the future to Set forth any thing in Print without License first obtained from those that are or shall be appointed by the Government to grant the same.
The same gritty resolve of the colonists who had the temerity to criticize the government is still with us. And this attitude forms the underpinnings of free speech and the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution.
In much the way the Trump administration worked ceaselessly to vilify the free press, the precedent was set from the earlier days of our nation.
And resisted with vigor by the people.
After the colonial government shut the paper down, there wasn’t another newspaper published for 14 years. You have Samuel Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence to thank for running a kickstarter campaign to get another paper going.
In the broad landscape of media outlets today—newspapers, radio, TV, magazines, the bottomless pit that is the internet—the thrust of the dispersal of information is the same now as it has always bee—The Voice of the People.
So when that voice is raised to condemn its source, it is really holding a mirror up to reality. It reflects the disparate points of view that are celebrated in our culture. Even when we disagree.
In the last few years, the ‘power of the press’ , the ‘voice of the people’ has often become very high volume, bellicose and to many observers, dangerous and threatening. The mechanism for calming that increase in volume is our Constitution and its implementation. As we have heard many times in recent days from pundits in writing and on TV and radio, we are a nation of laws. Without applying these laws to our community culture, we come to a tipping point of chaos.
I think most Americans want a peaceful, safe world. Fighting for what you believe is inherent in us all. But sometimes, it is better to listen rather than declare.
The division abetted by our elected officials strongly tests our fundamental rights. It is my hope, and ardent hope, that the dust will settle and we will find ways to work together. We a safe release from the tension we all have felt in the last few years.
Your are the media because all expressions of fact and opinion are very much the thoughts and ideas of us all presented in print, electronic and speech form. The privilege of operating a newspaper or TV or radio station is a method of bring the people’s voice to the community. Any assertions of bias among the media is simply a reflection of different points of view.
It is okay to disagree.