ICYMI: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Celebrates 200 Years

Former President Bill Clinton Gives Remarks on the Importance of Local Papers and Quality Reporting

On Thursday, November 21st, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette celebrated the 200th anniversary of its founding. What began as a local paper printed in a log cabin has evolved into a statewide institution that is at times the only available source of news for many small towns in Arkansas. As local outlets nationwide continue to crumble under Google, Apple and Facebook’s heavy hand over the digital advertising marketplace, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has been able to rise above this control and evade all of big tech’s punches in order to keep local news alive in Arkansas. In a time when local coverage is essential to a thriving democracy, the publication is a true sentiment on the necessity to uphold the fourth estate. 

In a celebratory dinner in Little Rock, AR, former President Bill Clinton said the following remarks:

“Old-fashioned newspapers are important if they tell us what’s going on. We are at risk today of not just losing our newspapers but losing what we like to take for granted: knowing what’s going on. Both technology and the movement toward authoritarianism all over the world today are driving us to the point where ordinary people may find it impossible to tell fact from fiction or truth from a bald-faced lie. If that happens then it will be impossible to sustain meaningful democratic governance.

“…Knowing is always better than not knowing. The legacy of the Democrat-Gazette is that you really do want us all to know. Yes, you try to persuade us on what to do with what we know, but you don’t want me not to know. And that’s all we have a right to ask for. Thank you to the Gazette for keeping the right to know and the responsibility to tell alive.”

Watch former President Bill Clinton’s remarks here