Thursday, May 03, 2007

Remembering Our Fallen

"Of all the clauses in the Constitution, the one that I admire the most, and venerate the most, are 45 words which compose the First Amendment."
--Jack Valenti, former chairman
Motion Picture Association of America, 2006

Did you know today is World Press Freedom Day? It's the day set aside to remember journalists who were killed or jailed for exercising their right to free speech, and to shed light on free press violations around the world. According to the World Association of Newspapers, 110 journalists were killed in 2006.

E&P wrote a story about this day of remembrance, challenging journalists and citizens to never forget those who have fallen. The power of the press is the one thing we can exercise to stop the senseless killing of journalists who are targeted by governments, extremist groups and others. Mark Fitzgerald of E&P writes:

What, really, can we do? The answer is, say their names. Tell the stories of their murders. Demand the capture of their killers, and especially of the evil men who ordered their killing. Protest impunity. Report. And raise hell like journalists always should. But most important, say the names of the dead, the imprisoned, the threatened, the censored. Print the names. Broadcast them. Post them. Say them. Because that's what they most fear, the enemies of the press: the death squads of the right and left, the dictators, the corrupt cops and bureaucrats, the drug cartels, the poachers, and the smugglers. They fear truth. A light shone. Their sins told. THEIR names named.

What are you doing to exercise your Freedom of Speech? And for those who don't know the First Amendment (shame on you!), here's a cheat sheet.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Learn it. Live it. Love it.

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Posted by T Dot at 4:52 PM | link

Read or Post a Comment

It's ironic that you quote Mr. Valenti at the beginning of your entry. He was chairman of an organization that "inadvertently" censors more media voices than the FCC ever could. Many writers, directors and documentarians have not been able to distribute their films as widely as they would like because the rating system is, for lack of a better adjective, "wishy-washy." When you recieve an R-rating, depending on the subject matter of your movie, it's harder to sell. Harder to market.

All in all, the rating system, in some ways, can (and has) discouraged some important movies/documentaries from being made or widely distributed because the MPAA is likely stamp a big fat "R" or "NC-17" on your movie which translates into "DO NOT SUPPORT THIS MOVIE."

Don't believe me? Look at the history of the biggest box office grosses in the last 35 years.


Check this documentary out:

(*drops the mic, and hugs T Dot for brining up freedom of the press. It really can't be talked about enough*)

Posted by Blogger Aaron Morrison @ 6:46 PM, May 04, 2007 #

Aaron, I hear you, sweetie.

Thankfully, there are no conditions on Freedom of Speech. It's available to anyone, anywhere at anytime, no matter what people think of your message or you as a man. Those important movies don't NOT get made. They just work their way up from the grassroots and become movements. Censoring a man never makes him obedient, it just makes him more determined.

Posted by Blogger T Dot @ 10:40 AM, May 05, 2007 #
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