Announcement: NRN Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer Constitution Award for Freedom of Press

Standing Up for Freedom of Press

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This award was awkward to write. I was not on the naming committee for the awards and was astonished by the choice to include my name as one of the named awards this year. For this I would like to thank my colleagues at NRN and hope that my punditry and journalism live up to the standard which NRN holds all of its writers too. This being said, I would like to introduce this award for freedom of press that we hold so valuable in our country today.

While we hear the phrases “fake news” and “alternative facts” as the media industrial complex tries to control the narrative in the United States, we must all remember that there are journalists who are losing their jobs over telling the truth. There are people standing up against the corrupt system, even at the cost of their reputation. And there are those who embody the beliefs that the founding fathers enshrined in our freedom of press. This award is for those people, not for pretentious members of the press to pat themselves on the back.

1st Nominee: Mary Freeman

Our first nominee for this award is NRN’s own Mary Freeman. Mary has been an aggressive author who attacks corruption wherever she sees it on both the domestic and international stage. Mary has worked on and broke several big stories over the last year, such as the Epstein Arrest (she was one of the first to report on it), The Energystar matter, and the LeBaron Case.

Through working the cases right from the start, Mary has been giving expert commentary and reporting, not creating the news. This is a trait that has been lost by those who have entered into the media-industrial complex and authors like Mrs. Freeman are an inspiration of all those who are entering into the field.

2nd Nominee: Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic School

Our second nominee is Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic student who was harassed by an activist on the national mall. We all remember the story of young Mr. Sandmann standing there with a smile on his face while a man three times his age screamed in his face and banged a drum, trying to provoke him. We all also remember the media fallout as CNN and other news sources attacked Mr. Sandmann for being an instigator. However, when new information came out that it was the activist who was the instigator of the situation, CNN and other news network continued to attack Mr. Sandmann.

Sandmann is suing CNN for $275 Million dollars because of this “coverage.” This case is particularly important because it shows the hypocrisy of the media. Sandmann was a fair target for the entire media-industrial complex to attack, but when anyone creates a meme about Greta Thunberg and her bad science, that person is the devil. Either all kids are off-limits or all kids are responsible for what they say. We cannot just be targeting kids like Mr. Sandmann.

3rd Nominee: Protesters in Hong Kong

Our third nominee is the Protesters in Hong Kong. These people are not really members of the press, but are the embodiment of the reason freedom of press is so important. As China cracks down on the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong, the media is being driven out of the equation. Those who have access are standing mute as people are killed, and those who want to report on the issue are being denied access.

Even the NBA has gotten involved with the matter, then cowardly chose profits over people’s lives as they sided with China’s inhumane actions. The NBA is no longer an American sport, so let them move operations to China. The freedom of press is needed because people who cannot speak for themselves need a voice, and in the present moment, those people are the people of Hong Kong.

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And the Winner is…

The debate on this issue of who should win was fierce. On one hand the Covington case shows corruption in the system and the fight to end corruption. On the other hand the Hong Kong case is the embodiment of the reason that we need a freedom of press. On the third hand Mary Freeman embodies the good qualities of a journalist.

However, in the end a choice had to be made and on the narrowest of margins the winner is… Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic. Mr. Sandman edged out Hong Kong and Mary because he went on the offensive and is challenging CNN’s credentials as a news organization after their organized smear campaign. All three nominees were within three points of one another, and for this we thank all of you for you plight, your fight and your efforts to stand up for our rights.

Christopher W Smithmyer
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