The First Amendment:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The modern newspaper’s roots go back to the beginning of the 1600’s, and for the next three hundred years the newspaper was the ONLY form of mass communication, the solitary vehicle for getting news to the masses.  It toppled governments, stopped and started wars, changed laws, shared to those oppressed . . . and formed countries.  Nothing like a newspaper had ever been seen, appreciated, and even revered by the general public.  It was a lone light in a shadowy world.

When the radio was invented, critics declared the newspaper would die, but it didn’t. When television started becoming popular, this time it was real . . . there was no way the newspaper could survive.  Wrong again.

If fact, by the early 1970’s, and with the invention of the color newspaper (inexpensively), the newspaper was more popular than ever.  Then, in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, along with the popularity of the Internet, newspaper revenues hit all-time highs peaking in the 50 to 60 billion dollar range. Even with the decline of returns after the bubble of the early 2000’s--which many critics argue as to why it happened--the newspaper still enjoys more credibility than any other news source. Only lately, some of today’s biggest investors and entrepreneurs, such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (bought Washington Post) and Warren Buffet, are buying newspaper companies. Two out of three American adults still read a newspaper: the percentage is higher than that worldwide.

Newspapers do not need electricity to be shared or read. They don’t require a phone or tablet or laptop. They can be put in your pocket, purse, or drawer and be found easily hundreds of years later. Newspapers can be distributed to your neighbors in minutes and are easily found and noticed.  Newspapers are disposable.  Newspapers are noticeable, perhaps even more so as the Internet becomes a deluge of googles of characters.

Did you know that almost all hard news stories still come from a newspaper reporter?  It’s true. Blogs and social media and other Internet outlets provide virtually NO original reporting. They get it from newspaper reporters.  America’s only real boots on the ground journalists are newspaper reporters. 

One of the great joys I have had in being part of Makemynewspaper.com is that I feel we’re helping voices to be heard, that we are aiding to keep alive the notion of the first amendment, that our voices matter and we ought speak and be recognized.  We see it every day in the variety of publications that come through our site, either in print or digital. The proliferation of true community newspapers has exploded, newspapers on political viewpoints and campaigns, social causes, religious beliefs and opinions are being published and shared both in print and across the Internet as never before.  We think this is the power of the people, and the only way to keep our country free, and great, and that helping others to speak their mind is in all reality a noble endeavor. We take prodigious pride in that we might be instrumental in keeping this honorable tradition alive and well.

In 1787 Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote, "...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."

America was built on the power of the people, or the power of the “voice” of the people. In these changing times, it is probably more important than ever that we are able to convey what we believe, what are stance on issues are, and put that thought out to the public so that our opinion is heard.  The moment we start thinking that our voice is not important, is the moment our freedom is almost certainly in jeopardy.  We, the people, cannot let that happen.  Our country, our world, is what we decide it must be, and only if we express ourselves can this be true.  Every individual thought is important of its own accord.  There is no such thing as someone’s viewpoint doesn’t matter.  ALL our perspectives matter. It’s what the civil war was actually all about in the long run, that all people must not only be free, but that their voice, each and every single voice, must count for something.  Without it, as Abraham Lincoln said, then the experiment of democracy will fail. 

As Thomas Jefferson also believed, “Information is the currency of democracy.” Without the first amendment, and our responsibility to act therein, then the words themselves are meaningless. Our importance, our thoughts, must be utilized and made available and shared or they are just words on a piece of paper. Distribution must continue at any cost.

Make your voice count. Say what you believe. And tell the world.

Start Designing Your Own Newspaper Now!