Protect the press: 9 comms, marketing groups support Fourth Estate

A statement signed by comms and marketing groups follows editorials published by hundreds of news outlets decrying attacks on the free press.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

NEW YORK: The Public Relations Society of America and eight other comms and marketing groups threw their support behind the Fourth Estate, one day after news organizations across the country published editorials in response to attacks on a free press.

On Wednesday, The Boston Globe led the charge on a nationwide effort to repudiate President Donald Trump’s labeling the media as "the enemy of the people." Hundreds of media outlets answered the Globe’s call.

"Today we join with our compatriots in the news media to proudly affirm the Fourth Estate as a vital engine of democracy," said a statement signed by nine comms and marketing groups on Thursday.

Aside from the PRSA, other groups that signed the statement include the American Advertising Federation, the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, Page, the Commission on Public Relations Education, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management, the Institute for Public Relations, the International Association of Business Communicators, and the Public Relations Council.

The statement said that, without a free press and freedom of thought and expression as provided by the First Amendment, informed decision-making is not possible and individual freedoms suffer.

The statement included a quote from Thomas Jefferson, who famously said, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."

"The dramatic expression by a founding father who was brutally criticized by the media of his time underscores that the standing of a free press transcends politics, geographies, or other affiliations," the statement said.

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