THINK ABOUT IT EDITORIAL: Respect for the Press - Tucson News Now

THINK ABOUT IT EDITORIAL: Respect for the Press

(Source: KOLD News 13) (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is commentary by Joe Hengemuehler, Vice President and General Manager of KOLD News 13. Viewers with responsible opposing views are welcome to respond by clicking HERE.

The dust has sort of settled on the heels of a recent incident in Montana where a political candidate body slammed a reporter for a local news agency.

While the story has moved from viral to ‘Oh yeah, that happened’ – what hasn’t dissipated – is the need for ongoing discussion about respect for journalists. More importantly, respect for the constitutional protections of a free press.

The Montana incident happened the same week Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joked about carrying his gun in case, he said, he saw some reporters. The week before, another reporter was physically restrained by guards at a meeting of the FCC, just for trying to ask a question.

There is always more than one side to every story and reporters need to earn respect by doing their job without bias.

But asking tough questions isn't bias and digging into uncomfortable stories is not fake news.

While some politicians on the national stage on both sides of the aisle choose to disparage and disrespect reporters, many of our local leaders should be commended and appreciated for being open and available to the media.

State Senator Steve Farley comes to mind -- and yes -- even before he threw his hat into the Arizona governor's race.

The same is true of Tucson councilman Steve Kozachik.

Put simply, they understand the role a responsible media plays in our society.

Our Founding Fathers knew their great experiment of government by the people would not survive without freedom of speech.

Think about it -- that's a right given to every American citizen, not just journalists.

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