Thursday, March 12, 2015

Do you know your FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS?????

 The First Amendment
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.

As American citizens, we tend to take our First Amendment rights for granted. The only time we think about it is when someone is trying to take them away. 

How lucky are we that we live in a country where we do have the freedom of speech, the right to PEACEFULLY assemble and protest if that is what we want? I confess that I didn't have to truly worry about those precious rights until I started my journalism career. When you write, there are many people who will want to silence you. 

Not the best example but last year for a class I had to write on a meeting at the Birmingham Historical Museum. During that meeting, a shouting match ensued. A very heated shouting match that could have turned into fisticuffs if the median age wasn't over 60-years-old. Now, this is very minor but afterwards, I was politely asked not to publish what happened. WHAT????? Over a squabble? 

Now, this is not even close to being censored by the government, but these are things that you will encounter as a journalist/photojournalist. There is not one person/organization/government or business who wants anything negative made privy to the public. I wouldn't want it. 

Be truthful in your reporting, do not write with malice in your heart. IF you are not credible, what good are you? We are here to protect the public, to inform. If it were not for journalists/photojournalists, the government's of the world could do whatever they wanted. 

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