LETTER: Kudos on the democracy editorial
To the editor:
As someone who spent her youth in South Dakota and was once a staff writer for the The Daily Republic, I appreciated very much your editorial on democracy, freedom of the press, and "fake news" titled "Dirty war against press must end."
As a historian of modern Europe, my research has given me some perspective on how the phrases "enemy of the people" and "fake news" (the German expression for which is Lügenpresse) were deployed in the past to justify persecution, material expropriation, and even mass murder. We as a nation must be better than that, and being better starts with the important work you are doing.
As for the rest of us, we owe it to those who sacrificed their lives for our democracy to defend its most sacred ideals, foremost among them a free press. So keep up the good work, and above all thank you for representing the values I saw exhibited in many of my fellow South Dakotans — teachers, ministers, friends — during my youth; responsibility, professional rigor, and a clear passion for what you do.
Associate Professor of History
Providence, Rhode Island