"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

News Leader Calls for Limiting Free Speech?

May 21st, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

The Missouri Political News Service is frankly surprised that a respected publication, such as the Springfield News Leader, is jumping on the bandwagon calling for the non-anonymity of political blogs. The News Leader printed a editorial today titled “Bloggers should not hide names.” First, we believe it’s elitist for your editorial to call those who aren’t familiar with blogs “uninitiated.” And it is equally elitist to call for one standard, while you operate on another. Why should your readers have to call the paper to find out who wrote a particular anonymous editorial?

The very founding of America, was predicated on the Colonist’s ability to express their opinions anonymously. Below are excerpts from an excellent opinion column written in 2005:

“Harvard University historian Bernard Bailyn’s book, “The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution,” estimates that more than four hundred pamphlets discussing America’s grievances against the Crown were published in the colonies between 1750 and1776. Publication continued through the Revolution. By the time the War of Independence ended in 1783, the number of pamphlets had grown to fifteen hundred.

Often published under and circulated by hand from one patriot to the next, these pamphlets constituted a true underground medium

The historical evidence indicates that early American patriots opposed attempts to require that anonymous authors reveal their identities on the grounds that forced disclosure violated the “freedom of the press.”

Yes, we agree that if the Colonist’s had let their identities be known, they faced certain reprisals such as prison or certain death. And yes, we don’t face those consequences today; but there are other reprisals that can be exacted upon a citizen journalist.

As was stated recently, Most bloggers do not write professionally, so there are risks in expressing opinions are exposing wrongdoings. Below is an excerpt from yesterday’s McClatchey Newspaper article on voter fraud:

“During four years as a Justice Department civil rights lawyer, Hans von Spakovsky went so far in a crusade against voter fraud as to warn of its dangers under a pseudonym in a law journal article.

Writing as “Publius,” von Spakovsky contended that every voter should be required to produce a photo-identification card and that there was “no evidence” that such restrictions burden minority voters disproportionately.”

In the case of Watergate, did the anonymity of Deep Throat, make his information less credible? The Blogosphere is a perfect cyber marketplace that weeds out poorly written blogs or blogs that consistently report inaccurate information. MOPNS is proud that in our two weeks of existence, we broke two important stories last week. If any of the SNL editorial writers want to blog anonymously for MOPNS, drop us a line. We’ll gladly give you space.

editor@mopns.com

Scooter Jackson

Around the Blogosphere:

Fired Up Missouri:A Message for the News-Leader About Blog Pseudonymity”

Messenger: “Fired-Up gets, well, fired up!”

Rhetorica: “Publius No More?”

Politics Blog: “Blog anonymity editorial sparks furious debate”

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Tags: Media Bias

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John // Nov 18, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Hi, there!..377753aafb5b03b0aaf9bc2cac1d6298

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