The TimesDaily has a long and important legacy of protecting your First Amendment rights.

And this week (Oct. 6-12), which marks the 79th annual celebration of National Newspaper Week, we remain steadfastly committed to the duties of a free press.

Part of that commitment is a belief that all citizens should understand and cherish the five freedoms of the First Amendment — freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, and the public’s right to let government know when it’s doing wrong.

Those five were put in the First Amendment for a reason: They’re the strongest weapons the public has in protecting the rest of the freedoms spelled out in the Bill of Rights.

It’s no secret that newspapers are struggling to adapt to a changing readership dynamic that pits a growing interest in online news against the more traditional print version. No matter how you choose to read your local news — in print, on digital sites, via laptop, desktop and mobile devices, through SMS or social media — newspapers like the TimesDaily remain the leading source of reliable information in the communities they serve.

Today more than ever, it is important for the public to know and understand why the TimesDaily is your most trustworthy source for news and information.

— Our newsroom is staffed with real people — people you know — reporters, photographers, editors — gathering the news, conducting interviews, covering meetings, attending events, writing, editing, fact-checking and making sure every day you can trust what you read.

— Those reporters rely on recognizable sources. Quotes in the articles you read are attributed to real people in our communities, and can be easily verified.

— Our news staff works hard to stay away from single-source reporting, giving readers context and balance.

— Our website has a legitimate URL ending in .com extensions, listing contact information, the names of staff members, and the leadership team, on the website.

— We correct mistakes when we are made aware of them. Everyone makes mistakes at times, but there is a big difference between an error and intentionally and knowingly publishing a false report because of some political or social agenda. Some websites, blogs and social media sites do not correct errors. They simply ignore them.

The TimesDaily has been a part of the Shoals community since 1869, covering the unsung heroes, local government, sports, education, crime and more — often original stories that you won’t find elsewhere. Informing residents isn’t just a job we want to do, it’s one we feel we must do.

The chronicling of day-to-day life by our reporters, who live in the communities they cover, helps Shoals-area residents be better informed citizens.

Our job in reporting news is not to determine the truth. It’s just to report the facts. Our goal is good journalism. And the motive is simple: to protect the five freedoms of the First Amendment.


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