I must say, it is really impressive to see how much wisdom there was on just a single page of a small town South Dakota newspaper in 1935. First, in the Open Forum (letters to the editor section) there is a quote by a famous Frenchman:
"I do not agree with a word that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"VOLTAIRE (1694 - 1778)
There is something so familiar about that quote... defending the right to say what you want, to have a right to speak one's mind, to speak freely, to have the freedom to voice one's opinion... nope - just can't put my finger on it.
Perhaps there is a clue in the dates, the period of time in which Voltaire lived: 1694 to 1778. Didn't something else happen in the 1700's? Closer to 1778, if I am not mistaken?
Maybe not. I mean Voltaire was French. What could the French possibly have to do with America? It's not like they ever did anything for us, right?
Anyway, I found a quite remarkable description of the purpose of a newspaper:
The newspaper that would serve best must first of all, publish the news truthfully, interestingly and fairly, with neither fear nor favor. That the people might know and judge. To the best of its ability it must lead and inspire leadership toward improvement and progress. If this means battle, it must ever be ready to do battle But it must fight fairly, always with a willingness to act as a forum open to all opinion.
As it goes into the home, it must enter as a gentleman that it might deserve the respect and confidence of all of its readers.
As a guest bringing in interesting information and valued guidance, It should also brighten its visit by furnishing cheer and entertainment. As it seeks influence, it must also accept responsibility. It must be a newspaper for today, published with a constant thought for tomorrow.