Defending freedom here at the Northern Star

By Dave Thomas

Probably the most asked question of these first couple weeks back at school is: What did you do this summer?

Some people respond simply stating they worked, or they did nothing as they lived out their summer in the slow paces of DeKalb. Some of the more lucky ones went on vacation or studied abroad with NIU in Oxford. I did none of these things.

This summer, I defended freedom.

Now at this point, you’re probably wondering what the defense of freedom entails. This summer, I defended freedom by interning for a congressional office. There, I organized and sorted snail mail and e-mail, gave tours to constituents, answered phone calls and gave an award-winning smile to anyone who entered the office.

It was in Washington, D.C. where I realized that we all have a role to play in the machinations of liberty. Some of us will cast votes in Congress, while others research and write briefs on finance policy for their particular member of Congress.

But while you can take the man out of D.C., you can’t take D.C. out of the man. Freedom can and must be defended everywhere. Now that I’m back in DeKalb serving as the Perspective editor of the Northern Star, it is my goal to ensure the continued defense of freedom and liberty.

I believe the institution of a newspaper is a vanguard of freedom. It is in newspapers like the Star, the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, etc. where you see hard-hitting journalism that exposes corruption and waste.

After all, it was the Chicago Tribune that revealed the corrupt admissions process at the University of Illinois. This past summer, two Washington Post reporters showed just how monstrous the national security business had become.

Yes, TV news outlets like CNN and Fox News may have a nationwide reach, and news aggregators like Google News may attract the advertisers, but when it comes to reporting that matters, newspapers are the front lines.

As the Perspective editor of the Northern Star, I am to continue this tradition. You are not going to like every column, editorial and cartoon that is printed on these pages. Indeed, there will be at least one occasion where you think the particular columnist is not only dumber than a rock, but that the columnist should be fired for being so stupid.

But the voicing of unpopular opinions is necessary for freedom’s continuation. While I believe in the phrase “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” there is room for passionate, legitimate differences in this country, and on these pages.

Lastly, the Star also publishes letters to the editor. In the interest of space, I refer you to our policy below. Just know that I do take these seriously, and I will try to print them as often as I can.

And feel free to e-mail your questions regarding the Northern Star and its coverage. Sometimes it is hard for the public to see the perspective of the newspaper, and I will do my best to bridge that gap, and to make your concerns public.

Freedom requires constant vigilance. We’ll do our best to succeed in that mission.