WHEREAS, our nation's founders understood that freedom of the press and an informed citizenry are cornerstones of a democracy; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth has played a vital role in promoting 1st amendment rights throughout history; and
WHEREAS, in 1776, the Virginia Declaration of Rights was the first declaration of rights to call for a free press, noting that a free press is, “one of the great Bulwarks of Liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic Government”; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Press Association has been championing the common interests of Virginia newspapers and the ideals of a free press in a democratic society since 1881; and
WHEREAS, Virginia Newspaper Week is an opportunity to remind citizens of the necessity of a free press, and emphasize the importance of newspapers in fostering accountability, transparency, improved public policy, citizen participation and government responsiveness in the everyday lives of citizens;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 7-13, 2018, as VIRGINIA NEWSPAPER WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.