By Ken Foote, Director of Programming for CBS 11

This year is our nation’s 237th anniversary of its Declaration Of Independence from British rule. And as we celebrate July 4th , I am reminded of what that document that was signed in 1776 means to me. It’s not so much about having a day off from work, shooting fireworks, or even necessarily being at the lake at a family cookout. It is about freedom: freedom of speech, religion…you name it. Freedom to live the way we want to, to think and speak freely, and the free flow of information via media.

The American broadcasting model as well as print media has been based on the principles of freedom on speech. Over the air broadcasting in the U.S. may be government regulated but it’s not government owned and operated like the BBC, nor are they ancillary to the suppression of free speech like media organizations in countries such as China or North Korea are.

Since the 1920’s, radio and TV broadcasting in America has been providing the best in news, information, entertainment, and sports known to mankind. And while some have predicted the demise of free over the air broadcasting due to the Internet and social media, just remember the words of the great American novelist Mark Twain, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Have a wonderful Fourth Of July. See you next time.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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