A Sustainable Free Press -- Our Democracy Requires It Now, More than Ever

In Blind to Betrayal (Freyd & Birrell, 2013), we noted that a free press is at the heart of being aware of societal betrayal -- at the heart of defending against and repairing institutional betrayal. These two paragraphs are from page 145 of Blind to Betrayal:

Perhaps you are objecting that your country didn’t have apartheid
or that the abuses were suffered in South Africa. It may be that
the abuses and betrayals that occur in America, for instance, are
primarily within the home, such as child abuse and marital infidelity,
but they are traumas and betrayal traumas nonetheless. In not
knowing and not telling about betrayals and traumas that have been
perpetrated in the home and the workplace, we ignore the implications
of the stories of many ordinary Americans, and we “become
complicit in contributing to an impoverished social fabric.”

This issue of awareness about societal betrayal is closely related
to the idea of a free press. James D. Wolfensohn, the former president
of the World Bank, in a speech to the World Press Freedom
Committee about the necessity of a free press, pointed out that “if
there is no searchlight on corruption and inequitable practices, you
cannot build the public consensus needed to bring about change.”3
In other words, without seeing the betrayal and expressing it freely,
we cannot stop injustice.

Supporting the free press includes actually subscribing or donating (see, for instance, this). (I do understand: they are not perfect -- but even a freeish press is so very much better than having only an echo chamber or only the Ministry of Truth.)

What makes these free? First, I cannot promise they are free and so you should use your own judgment. What I see in these outlets is not that I always like their coverage of issues or editorial positions (in fact, I often do not), but rather: a commitment to operate independently of conflict of interest; a commitment to uphold journalist ethics; a commitment to report difficult truths; a commitment to shine a light on corruption and bigotry; a refusal to succumb to an understandable desire to normalize harm and threats (see, for instance, this about the history and current danger of normalizing fascism).

See also Without our Free(ish) Press, We are Sunk. Please Help. by Jennifer Freyd, Huffington Post Blog, 15 November 2016.

See also our work on Institutional Betrayal