Out Loud: December 8, 2016: A Free Press

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Jack and I flew to Oakland last Thursday morning to pick up the BART to ride into San Francisco. The California Press Foundation’s 139th Winter Meeting takes place annually the first week of December at the Marines’ Memorial Club.

Thursday night, we attended an awards ceremony there and listened to speaker David Talbot, author of “The Devil’s Chessboard,” speak about concerns of a threat to a free press because of the upcoming presidential term.

That theme continued throughout the evening and into the Friday luncheon as recipients accepted their awards.

Saturday morning, still in SF, we awoke to hear the first news reports of the Oakland warehouse fire Friday evening, and began reading up on it on newspaper websites. It was within two blocks of one of the BART stops along our route.

Various reporters attended press conferences  authorities held, asked questions, interviewed witnesses and survivors, investigated facts, and wrote the reports, just so you and I would be informed.

Throughout the days since then, journalists have not wavered in updating us on how many victims and how much of the warehouse has been searched.

I imagine that this fire and some investigative journalism will bring an awareness to the nation of the extreme rising costs of living in the Bay Area, particularly in SF, making it nearly impossible for people to find affordable housing.

Journalists are professionals who work hard to inform us, but their pay is low. So, when you’re out there blaming the media about everything wrong in your world,  ask yourself how you will know if journalists are silenced.

Becky Clark, Editor

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