Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter to the National Editorial Association.

May 11, 1934

Dear Dean Martin:

Please voice to the Missouri newspapermen and delegates of the National Editorial Association, gathered for your Annual Journalism Week Banquet, my sincere regret that because of duties in Washington I cannot be with you tonight. I understand that .at your table tonight are assembled some of the foremost representatives of the relatively small but extremely influential newspapers of the country.

Neither the millions and millions of people constituting the reading public nor the hundreds of individuals representing the overwhelming majority of newspaper publishers can, in any way, be concerned with or wrought up over the silly and wholly unjustified conversation on the part of a small minority who suggest that the freedom of the press has been either destroyed or assailed.

Freedom of the press means freedom of expression, both in news columns and editorial columns. Judging by both these columns in papers in every part of the country, this freedom is freer than it ever has been in our history.

There has been no attempt in Washington to "gag" newspapermen or stifle editorial comment. There will be no such at. tempt.

On the basis of years of personal experiences with newspaper publishers and newspaper workers- and they have been many-I believe the publishers, with few exceptions, agree with me in all that I have said on the subject of freedom of the press and that they, in the great majority, have the interests of their employees close to their hearts.

Very sincerely yours,

Dean Frank L. Martin,

University of Missouri,

Columbia, Missouri.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to the National Editorial Association. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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