Archive for Thursday, October 30, 2008

Informing the citizenry

October 30, 2008

To the editor:

In the colonial days, the Founding Fathers knew that a strong, viable democracy depended on an informed citizenry. That meant newspapers — and a way to make sure the newspapers got delivered.

Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy and an important reason why the United States is a beacon of freedom to the world. And ever since the Continental Congress created the Post Office Department back in the 1700s, one of our most important responsibilities has been to deliver the news.

Today’s community newspapers can proudly trace their heritage to Benjamin Franklin’s The Pennsylvania Gazette and other colonial newspapers. Today, as then, these publications provide information on a wide range of local issues that are important to all of us.

Originally, Congress authorized the carrying of newspapers and periodical publications in the mail at no charge. Today, with some nine billion newspapers, magazines and other publications delivered each year, we no longer can offer free delivery. However, postage rates for periodicals are generally the lowest offered by the Postal Service and rank among the lowest in the industrialized world.

After all these years, the Postal Service and America’s community newspapers still strive to “bind the nation together” by delivering news, opinions and information that serve to keep us informed — and help to keep us free.

Sue Nelson

Postmaster, Bonner Springs

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