By Ronald Angle
A warm welcome back to the CN&R’s faithful print readers. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Free speech, exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where the people are themselves free.”
The return, even if momentarily, of the print Chico News & Review is a continuation of this nation’s acceptance of a free press as a public necessity.
In 1735, John Peter Zenger, publisher of the New York Weekly Journal, was arrested and put on trial for allegedly printing libelous things about the British government. But his lawyer, Andrew Hamilton, argued that the articles in question could not be libelous because they were based on fact. Zenger was found not guilty, and the case established the precedent that a statement, even if negative, cannot be libelous if it is true. This landmark case helped establish the foundation of a free press in the then-fledgling nation.
Today, freedom of the press is under fire and the heat will only increase until the November election. We live in the shadow of a budding dictatorship that would make King George proud.
One of the aspects of a Free Press is choice. Here in Chico, we currently have a daily print newspaper. It is struggling but it still finds its way to our doorstep each morning. Stories that you might not find in the Chico Enterprise-Record often do appear in the Chico News & Review. The reader has a choice.
This printed edition of the CN&R that you’ll find on newsstands right now is a celebration of perseverance. A global pandemic helped to bring about the cessation the print edition, but a very determined group of writers and editors kept the faith and brought us the online version of the CN&R.
But the paper needs your help. First, please support the advertisers; they pay the rent. Second, consider regularly funding the CN&R. It may be a free press, but in truth the process is not free. Roosevelt would be proud of you.