| A Declaration Of Media Independence & Integrity
by Dana Kester-McCabe
(This document was written with special thanks to the framers of the US Declaration of Independence, for consideration by any and all members of the media.)
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal. They are endowed with certain unalienable rights. Among these are: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Another right and responsibility of the people is to maintain and support an independent media, one that is free to seek and express Truth about life's experiences without the undue censorship or restriction of any individual or organization.
Whenever any person or form of human organization: governmental, religious, social, political, or commercial, opposes these rights; the people must hold them responsible, requiring them to recognize such principles, and to reorganize their powers in such a way as to redeem them. Such enforcement should not be mandated for trivial or spiteful causes. When an individual or organization will not accept responsibility nor answer for their actions, a free media must truthfully distribute this information to the people, so they might respond within the laws of the land. And if laws are enacted that contradict these inalienable rights, it is the duty of the people and an independent media to work within all their means to correct them even under the gravest threats.
We also hold this to be self-evident: that interpretations of Truth and Happiness are changeable and often a source of great conflict between various individuals and organizations pursuing them. By allowing for the fair distribution of a diversity of ideas, so long as in doing so the Life and Liberty of any individual or group are not unjustly impeded or threatened, a free and independent media insures greater understanding as well as the continued and beneficial growth of all human communities.
We do not take these rights and responsibilities lightly. We dedicate ourselves to ethical endeavors and to avoiding unnecessary or cruel invasions of the privacy of any person. We disclaim the notion that the pursuit of Happiness for any individual or group is reason enough to deny the Happiness of another. We enter into this work in partnership with the public, which we serve. Whether we seek to entertain or to inform, we strive to be fair in our analysis and portrayal of facts, to be compassionate to our subjects and our audience, and to illuminate the condition of our lives. We commit ourselves to these ideas even in the event of great personal sacrifice, for there is not only much to learn from each other but great joy to be shared.
Dana Kester-McCabe is a freelance graphic artist, writer and designer from Bishopville, Maryland.
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