From the October 1999 Idaho Observer:
Start Your Own Newspaper
from the SPOTLIGHT
A coalition of independent publications urges Americans to get their own local newspapers started to counteract the spin of the controlled, dominant media.
President Paul Hall of the American Media Association (AMA) will back the formation of the Committee for Local Media (CLM) at the group's December meeting.
The CLM will promote the establishment of local and statewide newspapers throughout the nation.
The committee, chaired by Don Harkins, editor of The Idaho Observer, will lend its expertise to concerned Americans who wish to publish local newspapers designed to challenge the authority and credibility of their local, controlled media.
According to Harkins, advances in technology have made it possible for newspapers dedicated to real news to be successful with a remarkably modest investment.
The primary requirement of a successful statewide newspaper editor is selfless dedication to truth and justice, Harkins said. As is true in most small businesses, money can be an issue, but I have found that truth finds a way.
In 1995, Harkins became editor of The Oregon Observer and moved to north Idaho the next year to begin publishing The Idaho Observer.
As most SPOTLIGHT readers will agree, the systematic usurpation of the principles of freedom and justice upon which this nation was founded are made possible by television, radio and print media, that reflect the socialistic intentions of city, county, state, federal and international governments.
Rather than being the watchdog media for which the First Amendment of the Constitution was created, the Establishment, or dominant media, has degenerated into the lapdog media, Harkins said. In other words, rather than reporting the news from a constitutional perspective that intends to protect citizens from intrusive government, the dominant media reports news from a perspective that promotes and justifies government intrusion into our lives.
Harkins has spent the last five years reporting about innocent citizens who have fallen victim to the nation's increasingly invasive administrative and judicial machinery.
By reporting the truth we have forced the early retirement of at least five corrupt judges and have compelled several corrupt city and county bureaucrats to resign, he said. We have also helped dozens of innocent people to extricate themselves from the clutches of lawyers and bureaucrats who were attempting to use the system to steal their property, their livelihoods, their children and/or their freedom.
Historically, the only effective deterrent to unacceptable behavior is social control. Even a community's social elite and its government officials stand in line at the bank and the grocery store, eat out at restaurants and go to the movies.
If the community is informed by a truthful and unfettered local press that specific individuals are guilty of unacceptable behavior, and treat then with the derision that those individuals deserve, they can no longer perform their lawless activities in secrecy. Unable to get away with their crimes, they have little choice but to behave themselves or leave town.
Our nation's epidemic of government abuse and courtroom injustice will continue with ever-increasing frequency until alternative presses are formed to challenge the credibility of local dominant media.
Harkins has learned that journalism experience is not necessary in the founding of a locally-based newspaper. What is important, in addition to personal dedication and time, is writing ability and a small circle of friends who are willing to help.
I am impressed by the vast numbers of populists all over the country who are extremely talented writers, Harkins commented. We just have to encourage them to start publishing local newspapers so that their talents can be used where they are most needed.
Harkins knows that local control of politics is the key to honest government. If we cannot control the actions of our most junior city council persons, how can we expect to stop the plutocrats from gaining total control of our lives and our private property?
The time has come for concerned Americans to build an association of alternative media, Paul Hall added. With the combined experiences of other AMA members, we now have an opportunity to build a national association of media that are dedicated to preserving freedom in America.
Note: The response to the article above, originally printed in the October 4, 1999 edition of the SPOTLIGHT, has been so overwhelming that the AMA has rescheduled its biannual meeting to accommodate the good people who have answered this call to pen. For a copy of The Idaho Observer and an outline of materials and equipment needed to start a newspaper, contact The Idaho Observer at (208) 687-9411 or (208) 267-8037. The AMA meetings will coincide with the Preparedness Expo in Las Vegas, December 3-5. For meeting information, contact the office of AMA President Paul Hall at: (209) 742-6397. For information about the Preparedness Expo and accomodations, contact Dan Chittock at: (801) 256-9978
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