HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 91-4698, by Representatives Prentice, Jacobsen, Ludwig, Bray, R. Johnson, Riley, Leonard, Belcher, G. Fisher, Nelson, Valle, Rust, Phillips, Anderson, Dellwo, Jones, Cole, Roland, Miller, Mitchell, Winsley, Wood, Silver, Inslee, Ogden, Sprenkle, Van Luven, Sheldon, Cantwell, Edmondson, Scott, Brekke and Brumsickle.


     WHEREAS, Freedom of speech is the fundamental right of American citizens; and

     WHEREAS, Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy; and

     WHEREAS, 1991 marks the two hundredth anniversary of the Bill of Rights, that proclaimed these rights and freedoms for all Americans; and

     WHEREAS, The press has been instrumental in bringing world events into our living rooms, changing forever our relationship with those around us; and

     WHEREAS, It was media focus on the plight of Kurdish refugees in Iraq that spurred the United States to act on their behalf; and

     WHEREAS, Closer to home, we rely on the press to shine a questioning spotlight on our legislative actions, no matter how uncomfortable, unflattering, or unmerciful; and

     WHEREAS, As legislators, it is still our duty to answer the questions, and the duty of the press to question our answers; and

     WHEREAS, When sometimes we utter the unprintable, the press is still able to print the unutterable; and

     WHEREAS, The need to maintain a free, open, and sometimes painfully candid press should always take precedence over our desire to hide our wrinkles and be quoted as geniuses; and

     WHEREAS, Many reporters say the press has a responsibility to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the State of Washington recognize the value of a free, open, and forthright press, unchecked by government intervention or fears of criticism; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize and commend the media for upholding the ideals of democracy and fostering a frank discussion of issues; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives support and encourage freedom of the press as a solid foundation for our democratic way of life.