71°F
weather icon Clear

We celebrate our freedoms today, every day

“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.”

Do you recognize those words? You might, and you should. They make up the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The amendment, which leads our Bill of Rights, is the very cornerstone of our government. It protects Americans’ freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom to petition the government.

The Bill of Rights was passed by Congress in September 1789, shortly after the adoption of the Constitution itself and was added to boost the public’s confidence in the nation’s fledgling government and to prevent the government itself from abusing its power.

Today, though we often take these rights for granted, I ask you to stop and celebrate them as the Boulder City Review and publications across the nation observe the 79th annual National Newspaper Week, which began Sunday and continues through Saturday. This year’s theme is Think F1rst — Know Your 5 Freedoms and puts the spotlight on the First Amendment.

Guaranteeing our freedoms, especially the freedom of speech and of the press, is built on the very foundation of what newspapers do and why it is so critical to recognize their value to our nation and to our communities.

A study published in August by Duke University shows that newspapers produce more local journalism than any other type of media. The study noted that community newspapers provide coverage that is truly local, meaning their stories are geographically local, original and serve a critical information need.

It went on to say that although newspapers made up only 25 percent of the news outlets sampled, they produced 60 percent of the news that met those three criteria.

It’s what we do daily: focus on Boulder City.

Our responsibility as a community newspaper is to keep local residents informed about what is happening within the boundaries of this city. We report on the happenings in City Hall and what our civic leaders are doing when they are not in the council chambers.

We report on the activities of city-sponsored committees and what local clubs and organizations are doing.

Sometimes the news makes you happy, sometimes it makes you sad, and sometimes it makes you angry.

And we are guaranteed our right to do this by the First Amendment.

This also gives us the opportunity to share opinions — ours as well as those of our columnists and community residents through their letters to the editor.

Sometimes you agree with those opinions, and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes we agree with them, and sometimes we don’t agree with those opinions either.

We’re OK with that. In fact, providing alternative points of view is part of our responsibility. It gives you and us something to think about. Hopefully, it opens our minds to different ideas and promotes civil discourse.

Regardless of one’s stance on any given topic, it shows how much we all care for the well-being of our community — especially when the conversation gets emotional and heated.

The First Amendment guarantees you that right, and that’s something to commemorate.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Every person counts

All it takes is five minutes — five short minutes that could significantly impact your city, state and nation.

Choice to help others is ours to make

People in this country suffer and die every day because we have made choices ignoring their very existence and well-being. Whether you care about it or not, whether you think about it or not, this is cruel, sightless and insensitive on our part.

Hate triumphs if we do nothing

During firearms training, with marksmanship and safety protocol, instructors stress that you are responsible for every round that leaves the barrel of your firearm because you cannot undo your intentional or accidental harm.

October brings monstrous fun

October is my favorite month of the year. I love Halloween and all things macabre and mystical. Right now, I’m addicted to the Netflix series “Marianne,” which might be the scariest television series I’ve ever watched.

Fall in love with fall

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the earthy tones that accent the decor in our homes and the changing colors of the leaves on the trees.

Exchanges with other Nevada cities benefit all

We are not alone, Boulder City. That point was brought home to me again last week during the Nevada League of Cities annual conference held in Henderson. The League of Cities has existed for about the same length of time as Boulder City has been a chartered city.

Commitment to quality remains steadfast

It takes a lot to get us cynical journalists excited, especially these days when even admitting you’re a journalist can lead to a sticky situation.

Boulder City attractive for many reasons

Last month I talked about the branding of Boulder City and how the “World Away for a Day” might be a little misleading and limiting.

Army association provides support for national security

When it comes to organizations that support veterans, there are many to choose from. Each group has its own qualifications for membership and some are limited to a specific service connection. Examples are the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Korean War Veterans. Some groups are inclusive of all military services but have other requirements for membership, such as the Disabled American Veterans and the Blinded Veterans Association.