The Press Must Assert Its Relevance Print
Commentary/Politics - Letters to the Editor
Tuesday, 24 October 2006 22:24

"The Top 10 Stories the Media Missed in the Past Year" as published in River Cities' Reader Issue 602 (October 11-17, 2006) might be called "10 more reasons why the ‘freedom of the press' will be abolished."

In January 2005, the results of a survey of students were published in which (only) 51 percent of the students believed that the press should be allowed to publish without permission from the government.

This survey should have awakened the press to the fact that they must inform the people of what is going on in our courts so that they can decide for themselves if our system of justice is fair.

The Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1871 are the two most important laws enacted to protect our rights.

The act of 1866 requires that violators of the act be arrested and prosecuted at the expense of the United States.

Because the act of 1866 was enacted prior to the ratification of the 14th Amendment, Congress reenacted the remedies of 1866 into the act of 1871.

Section 6 of the enforcement act states: "That if two or more persons shall band together, or go in disguise upon the public highway, or upon the premises of another, with intent to violate any provisions of this Act, or to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any citizen with the intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise and enjoyment of any right or privilege granted or secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having exercised the same, such persons shall be held guilty of felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be fined or imprisoned, or both, at the discretion of the court, the fine not to exceed $5,000, and the imprisonment not to exceed 10 years; and shall, moreover, be thereafter ineligible to, and disabled from holding, any office or place of honor, profit, or trust created by the Constitution or laws of the United States."

In Illinois, 720 ILCS 5/33-3 OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT states: "A public officer or employee commits misconduct when, in his official capacity, he commits any of the following acts: (a) intentionally or recklessly fails to perform any mandatory duty as required by law; or (b) knowingly performs an act which he knows he is forbidden by law to perform; or (c) with the intent to obtain a personal advantage for himself or another, he performs an act in excess of his lawful authority; or (d) solicits or knowingly accepts for the performance of any act a fee or reward which he knows is not authorized by law. A public officer or employee convicted of violating any provision of this section forfeits his office or employment. In addition, he commits a Class 3 felony."

The press has a moral obligation to inform the public of any act that violates the law by a public officer or employee that comes to their knowledge.

This may be the only way that we can preserve the freedom of the press.


Richard M. Boalbey

Rock Island



Illinois Quad City Chamber Reacts to Recommendations

As you may know, the Quad City Chambers of Commerce & Development Group Regional Task Force, made up of representatives from the three chambers and the Development Group, recently put forth recommendations for a strategic alignment of the Illinois Quad City Chamber, DavenportOne, and the Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce along with the Quad City Development Group.

The Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce recently reviewed the recommendations from the Regional Task Force in order to provide our members with a more efficient and effective approach to unified regional economic growth.

On October 19, the Board of Directors from the Illinois Quad City Chamber unanimously approved to move forward with the proposed Economic Growth & Development Function & Responsibility Matrix subject to further discussion.

The Regional Task Force also recommended a merger of the three local chambers. The board tabled the discussion to address this matter at a meeting of the board on Tuesday October 31, 2006.

Any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the recommendations of the Regional Task Force and the actions of the Illinois Quad City Chamber's board can be directed to the president/CEO, Rick Baker, at (309) 757-5416 or ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).


Jeff Nelson

Chairman of the Board

Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce




Who's Censoring?

(A comment from the Reader Web site on "Why ‘Project Censored' Still Matters.")

How many of these stories did the Reader publish? I don't remember any of them in your pages.

I agree with you that these stories are important, which is why I'd like to see them in the Reader. It seems like every year you publish the story about the top 10 censored of the year, but it's not just the mainstream media that's "censoring" them; obviously some alternative media like you guys are, too, because you don't seem to have published most of them when they were new.

How about publishing more stories like this during the year and not just in the year-end roundup? I know I'd like to see more of them, and I'm sure I speak for a lot of your readers.


Tim Besos




  • In the Dining Guide special section published in last week's River Cities' Reader, the alcohol options for the Faithful Pilot Cafe & Spirits and the Red Crow Grille were incorrect. Both restaurants offer beer, wine, and mixed drinks. Both restaurants also accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover as payment options. The Reader regrets the errors.

To let us know about any other mistakes, contact Rick at (563) 324-0049 or ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).


  • The phone number for the Roosevelt Chapter of the Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley was incorrectly listed in the October 4th issue. The correct phone number is (563) 323-5507.

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