We live in a tremendous age of communication. Our digital world connects us in ways that would have seemed impossible just a few decades ago. This has not only empowered a new sense of free speech, it has opened new educational and economic opportunities,
However, while the rise of the internet has given us limitless avenues to express ourselves, these platforms are disconnected from our geography, confining us instead to groups based on shared interests or viewpoints. Newspapers are vital to giving a local voice to national and global issues and ensuring we continue to engage with those who live and work around us.
Looking through our history, it is clear to see the importance of print media. It served as a widely available platform to spread knowledge of happenings at the local and national level and foster debate within a community. The principle of a free press is foundational to our nation and our identity as Americans.
Further, North Dakota enjoys a strong tradition of open access between the local media and our public officials. This is good for all involved.
Newspapers continue to serve the public good, helping us to understand the interests we share with our neighbors and building a common ground among us.
As we work toward a stronger and more prosperous future, we must be able to have a civil discourse. This will help us build consensus and deliver solutions for our state and nation. Print media provides an important forum to do just that.