Michael S. Corthell of 77 Smith St. Fryeburg, Maine hereby gives notice of intent to form a limited liability corporation in the State of New Hampshire for the purpose of publishing a daily 'electronic newspaper' called The Conway Chronicle AND publishing, in paper form a summary for general circulation in and around the County of Carroll in the State of New Hampshire from time to time. *All applicable laws governing the public trust responsibility of a newspaper publication apply to The Conway Chronicle as well **all rights [inclusive] under the first amendment of the United States Constitution.
(signed) Michael S. Corthell,
November 03, 2012
[*The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has a much quoted clause that reads as follows: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." From that fundamental precept in what is known as the Bill of Rights derives what is to me perhaps the most basic ethical tenet of journalism in the United States: The press is independent of government.
The founders of the United States were suspicious of the tendency of government, even the best-intentioned government, to become tyrannical at times. Governments are composed of human beings, and human beings can and do commit wrongs. For this reason, the authors of the First Amendment envisaged the press, despite all of its imperfections, as a kind of critic, with a role apart and distinct from that of government.
Clearly, nothing in the Bill of Rights says that newspapers and government cannot cooperate on occasion. But the intent of the founders was that the press and government should not become institutional partners. They are natural adversaries with different functions, and each must respect the role of the other. Sometimes a free press can be a distinct annoyance and an embarrassment to a particular government, but that is one of the prices of liberty. A free press is responsible to its readers, and to them alone.]
[**Conspicuously absent is mention of any responsibility accompanying this right, although Benjamin Franklin, in the “Apology for Printers” published in 1731, suggested there were responsibilities saying, “I have also always refus’d to print such things as might do real injury to any Person….”]