Talon News - Good Local News

By J.R. Sykes


DHS Journalist Database


April 13, 2018

This week our Department of Homeland Security (DHS), initiated a request for a contractor to build a database of journalists, media influencers, news outlets, and their sentiment. Think about that... I have more questions now than answers.

Does DHS view journalists & news outlets as terrorism, or is this a broader effort to monitor citizen’s speech? I suspect some version of “we are fighting fake news” will be the justification offered, while our leadership lets Putin and social media get off scot free.

Who would make the list? Would a citizen purchasing a blank journal be included? Would the database include citizens with a journalism degree that is un-used? What about journalists without degrees, or those writing letters to the editor.

What does “sentiment” mean here? Sounds like our opinions will be monitored. Watched for what, subversion? Will writings deemed “unpatriotic” get you flagged?

Would a “news outlet” include a community, high school, corporate newsletter, trade journal, or magazine?

There are many reasons our forefathers put freedom of speech so high on the priority list, but the main reason remains today- if a society fails to ensure freedom of speech, the public loses its voice opposing government action, leaving only pro-government propaganda. Eventually, without a right to protest all other rights are off the table.

Sounds like a recipe for fascism. That’s not the America I served to protect, what about you?


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