Freedom of the press is first for a reason



Don Iler


The Broadside


Central Oregon Community College in little Bend, Oregon might seem like its own little microcosm far away from the outside world. But because it is a microcosm of our great democracy, it allows for greater issues to be played out on a smaller scale.

One of the greatest freedoms our country provides is the first amendment, and it is one of the greatest institutions of any democracy.

The press is an important institution in any democracy, even a community college like COCC. It is the responsibility of the press to make the public aware of governmental activities. And the government must respect the freedom of the press, even if what it prints doesn’t always portray government in the best light.

Besides the 1st amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1 Section 8 of the Oregon Constitution states that, “No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever.” Oregon has gone even further to guarantee the freedom of student press with Oregon revised statute 351.649, which permits student publications to control their content without interference from the administration.

When I enlisted in the Marine Corps, I swore an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. If the rights contained in those documents don’t count here at COCC, where do they count?

People in power throughout history have sought to silence the press and repress dissenting voices. But because of the freedoms afforded to us, none of us should have to be punished for using those freedoms.

You may contact Don Iler at





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