Long live newspapers!

I welcome the Tribune to Martinez. In this age of social media, it is vital that print media flourish because of censorship that exists in social media.

Newspapers have a Letters to the Editor section (in the Tribune “Your Voice”) where opinions will be aired subject to standard guidelines. Letters to the Editor upholds a long tradition from the Agora in ancient Athens to the First Amendment and the ongoing battle in our country to maintain freedom of speech, where alternative viewpoints are valued, protected and encouraged.

In social media such as Facebook, no such tradition, belief system or protection exists.

A local administrator of a Facebook page will, as multiple Martinez residents have found, remove your post if an anonymous “complaint” is received, even if your post is respectfully written, complies with guidelines and is of interest to the community.

Facebook and other social media sites too often function like elitist and phobic country clubs where the standard is, “We don’t talk about subjects like that. …” That is the DIVIDE between social and print media.

The digital revolution has led to our selecting sites that only say what we like to hear, bypassing alternative points of view. If everyone is thinking the same, then no one is thinking.

So, I not only welcome the Tribune to Martinez, but also wish a continued long life to the Martinez News-Gazette where professionals at each paper support the airing of contrary opinions of vital interest, or not, to the Martinez community.

– Peter Dragovich

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