LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Newspaper helps preserve First Amendment

The announcement that we are celebrating National Newspaper Week caused me to pause and ponder what it meant to me.

Early each weekday morning on the way to catch the DART 301 bus to Wilmington, I stop at the end of my lane to retrieve my daily subscription to the Delaware State News.

What a deal! For less than 60 cents a day my view of local, state, national and world events is refreshed and updated.

From the excellent local sports section highlighting the praiseworthy accomplishments of our home-based teams to the Associated Press worldwide news feeds, my hometown paper never ceases to disappoint.

As John Sweeney, now-retired editorial page editor of the News Journal in Wilmington told me several years ago, ‘The Delaware State News is a good little paper; I read it every day.”

As an aside, this paper’s executive editor, Andrew West, some 30 years ago started his newspaper career as a young college intern writing obituary columns under the stern supervision of Mr. Sweeney.

Everyone has their priorities when first perusing the paper each day.

Some like the obituaries to possibly fill their social schedule or see how they are doing compared to others in this rat race to the end.

Others like the comic section to start the day with a chuckle, seek guidance or encouragement from the daily horoscope, or get their brain challenged with the crossword or word and sudoku puzzles.

As for me, the opinion section is the heart and soul of the Delaware State News.

If one reads the “Our Purpose” and “Our Pledge” printed daily at the bottom of each opinion page, you may realize why we are blessed to have a truly independent source for news.

In any newspaper, the letters to the editor, and subsequent feedback, allows those who are willing to publicly announce their personal views a forum to do so, and are critical to the continued success of the United States of America.

Our local printed newspaper, like no other medium, helps preserve our 1st Amendment right of free speech as well as documenting our history for future generations.

On a humorous note, I agree with the wise soul, who pointed out, “The beauty of free speech is we may easily identify the idiots among us.”

We may come to rue the day when, for whatever reason, the printed local newspaper, ceases to exist; it may well mark the beginning of the end of our Republic.

Yes, I subscribe to Delaware State News, and strongly encourage others to do the same as an investment in our futures as well as those who may come after us.

Dave Graham


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