Today is World Press Freedom Day, which was declared by the United Nations in global recognition that freedom of the press is essential to every culture and society in the world.
Freedom of expression is highlighted in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an establishing document of the United Nations. The original declaration created in 1948. It states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
In the U.S we have the protection of the media under the first amendment. This freedom is vital for all of us, including those of us who want to end cannabis prohibition and value truthful information in journalism. In a time of disinformation, it falls upon the consumers of that information to make sure that the reporting we are reading and listening to is not trying to mislead or serve us entertainment disguised as news.
In the U.S the press serves as a public defender, holding government, corporations, and other authorities and entities accountable for their actions. Responsible journalists are the people's eyes and ears in our society.
Unfortunately, in an information overloaded world, there are hurdles to achieving reliable reporting. Social media platforms have now regretted automating the spread of viral articles, contributing to the range of false information. When the public has free reign to post any idea they think of, how can you tell what information is essential, or even accurate?
The flood of information from the growing number of media sources makes it more critical than ever for all publishers to adhere to strict policies. They must verify the words, pictures or video used by their sources. Subscribing to a system of accuracy is the only thing that can create public trust and preserve the sanctity of the First Amendment.
Without question, the first amendment and freedom of qualified journalists to do their job are of utmost importance to the fairness and functionality of our society. So how does all of this relate to the cannabis enthusiast? Without reporters and writers giving us accurate information about the cannabis world, we can't mobilize efforts to end cannabis prohibition.
How does one tell if a cannabis website, blog, or news article is accurate and reputable? Research, research, research. No matter what you read or hear, always double check the information. Look up what other sites say about new cannabis legislation in your state and see if what they report is legitimate. The more sources you check for any given topic, the more well rounded your viewpoint will be, and you can make an informed decision on where you stand.
The need for accurate reporting in the cannabis world is just as high as it is for any other topic that people are interested in making a change to. We all need truth in our journalism. To have that truth, we need professional reporting from accredited and professional investigative reporters, not hosts or pundits. And we need those members of the press to be free to do their jobs. But we cannot forget that we the readers must also be responsible enough to do our homework about what we read.
If we only read the headlines or merely take in the information from a single news agency, then we are doing a disservice to ourselves. Taking action and making changes to the world around us starts with being adequately informed so we can make a plan.
We think these are some of the most reputable information sources for cannabis news: