BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
Recently, I had the opportunity to make a grand road trip through all the western states. As usual, somewhere along the trip, there is an interesting site, that ties itself to the heart of the business of newspapers.
Newspaper Rock in the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona is just one on those sites.
Hundreds if not thousands of years before, some of the earliest Americans, decided to leave marks upon a rock.
These markings of course are now called petroglyphs, but back then it was an expression of art or a way to tell another traveler information about the surrounding country and the artist.
In many ways, petroglyphs have a relation to newspapers in that we are telling a story of current and past events.
Unlike carving on stone, the newsprint will fade over time, nevertheless , there was a story to tell.
While Newspaper Rock has government security providing safeguard over the petroglyphs now, newspapers do not always enjoy such reverence.
Newspapers do enjoy some protections, specifically those five listed in the First Amendment which includes: freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government.
Together, these five guaranteed freedoms make the people of the United States of America the freest in the world, and I would be remiss if I were not to mention the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, the Fourth Amendment which covers unreasonable searches and seizures of property, and the Sixth Amendment which covers the right to speedy and public trial.
I could go on, but Newspaper Rock reminded me of freedom and the great sacrifice our forefathers and mothers made to secure my rights as a citizen of the United States.
Changes are no doubt coming for the U.S. The recent presidential election and COVID scare have introduced into some minds that restrictions can be imposed upon the public without specific regards to their rights guaranteed under the constitution.
Two examples related to restrictions of speech would include both Facebook and Twitter restricting publishing information that did not fit the narratives of the controllers. Yes they are private companies so to speak and as so have a right to disseminate information at their discretion. However, to give a particular political view preference over another is not about freedom.
What if Facebook owned the land where Newspaper Rock rests? Would they restrict viewing if it did not fit a certain narrative, or much worse, whitewash or completely cover the drawings.
A third, related to COVID, brings the harbinger of all privacy walking out the door, which relates back to the Fourth Amendment.
It can easily be summed up in having to have an ID to state you were vaccinated in order to be able to attend a function, business, or event.
There’s one thing for sure, The Greenville Standard remembers the ideals this country was founded upon and the lives given in toil and all wars to maintain our hard earned freedoms and will strive tirelessly to ensure every citizen is protected and informed.
The Greenville Standard hopes you had a blessed 4th of July and were able to celebrate its meaning with your family, friends, and loved ones.