Resources for Further Information and Action
“The Press and Governmental Responsibility” Panel Presentation (2/28/17)
League of Women Voters of McDonough County:   http://www.lwvmcdonough.org/ 

First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: 
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.

Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution:  

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript

Panel members’ contact information:

Gayle Carper, City Council: gtcarper@gmail.com, (309) 837-9485
Jasmine Crighton, WIU Department of Broadcasting & Journalism: J-Crighton@wiu.edu
Rich Egger, Tri-States Public Radio: RG-Egger@wiu.edu, (800) 895-2912
Jill Myers, Macomb School Board: jj-myers@wiu.edu
Patrick Stout, McDonough County Voicecolumn41@gmail.com, (309) 833-2114

Local press:

Tri-States Public Radio:  http://tspr.org/, (800) 895-2912, 91.3 FM in Macomb
McDonough County Voice: http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/, (309) 833-2114
Network Knowledge Public Television:  https://www.networkknowledge.tv/, (800) 232-3605
McDonough Democrathttp://www.themcdonoughdemocrat.com/, (800) 686-3116

Local government:

Macomb City Council:      https://cityofmacomb.com/more-information/city-council/, (309) 833-2575
Macomb Mayor’s Office:   https://cityofmacomb.com/city-departments/mayors-office/, (309) 833-2558
Macomb School Board:    http://www.macomb185.org/index.aspx?NID=73, (309) 833-4164
Macomb Parks Board:      http://macombparkdistrict.com/about-2/board-commissioners/, (309) 833-4562
Macomb Library Board:   https://www.macomb.lib.il.us/about.html#board, (309) 833-2714
McDonough County Board:   http://mcg.mcdonough.il.us/countyboard.html, (309) 837-2308
Western Illinois Regional Council:  http://www.wirpc.org/, (309) 837-3941

Illinois Open Meetings Act:

Text of the OMA:  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2
Better Government Association:  http://www.bettergov.org/open-meetings-act
Digital Media Law Project:  http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/open-meetings-laws-illinois

Freedom of Information Acts (FOIA):

US Department of Justice, national FOIA:  https://www.foia.gov/
Illinois FOIA:  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=85&ChapterID=2
Illinois Attorney General, on filing:  http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/howtofile_foiarequest1_new.aspx
Better Government Association, on filing:  http://www.bettergov.org/how-to-file-a-foia
Other resources:
Committee to Protect Journalists:  https://www.cpj.org/
Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics:  http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
Snopes fact-checking:  http://www.snopes.com/
Politifact fact-checking US politics:  http://www.politifact.com/
NPR’s Illinois Issues program & e-newsletter:  http://nprillinois.org/programs/illinois-issues#stream/0

What Can Citizens Do?
Americans who no longer pay for good journalism helped create a divisive situation where we all need to better inform ourselves, suggests author Asha Dornfest, who offers some words of advice:

  1. Pay for quality journalism. “We all know that newspapers and editorial staffs have been gutted by the Internet and our insatiable thirst for free news. Guess what? Paying for news—investing in quality journalism and a free and open press—is what allows us to maintain our democracy.”
  2. Stop getting your news from Facebook. “Facebook is many things, but it’s not a news source.”
  3. Subscribe to your local newspaper. “I don’t care how crappy your local paper is. Don’t blame hard-working journalists for the fact that their newspapers’ business models have crumbled.”
  4. Subscribe to a national newspaper. “Be skeptical (don’t take everything at face value), but be informed. Democracy works better when we can at least agree on the facts.”
  5. Read at least one news source that doesn’t reflect your political view. “We must start listening to diverse points of view.”
  6. Read one news source devoted to international news. “Understand the privilege of democracy—and what it means to live without one.”
  7. Learn to identify fake news. “Think of a peer-reviewed, double-blind scientific study vs. ‘research’ funded by a corporation. Which would you trust? Do your homework.”

Source:  Bill Knight, “What’s Ahead for Press Watchdogs,” PeoriaMagazines.com, January 2017 issue, http://www.peoriamagazines.com/ibi/2017/jan/what-s-ahead-press-watchdogs

 
 
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