Monday, October 28, 2013

Gov. Mike Pence addressing the opening session of the Associated Press Media Editor’s

Gov. Mike Pence addressed the opening session of the Associated Press Media Editor's Conference Monday in Indianapolis. Here is a transcript of his comments.

"As a conservative who believes in limited government, I believe the only check on government power in real time is a free and independent press. And the work of the APME, now eight decades running, has been an essential part of a free and independent press in this country. 

(Before becoming governor he served in Congress for 12 years. While there, Pence wrote a federal media shield statute known as the Free Flow of Information Act.) 

"The legislation passed the House of Representatives twice during my service but never made it through the procedural hurdles of the other chamber. 

"When news broke earlier this year that the federal government seized phone records of AP reporters let me assure you that I immediately wrote the leaders in the House and Senate and urged them to take up the Free Flow of Information Act immediately, and I was pleased that the Senate Judiciary Committee managed to pass that legislation in September of this year. 

"I will continue to be an advocate for a federal media shield, and you have my word on that. As I've told my colleagues in the House many times… conservatives, especially: The federal media shield bill isn't about protecting reporters. It's about protecting the public's right to know. 

"Let me just say that it's about believing in the vitality, the essential importance of the work that all of you do in the Fourth Estate.

"I want to thank all of you for the work that you do each and every day to make the theme of this conference a reality in your newspapers: 'Content is King.' And when you all are doing your job then the American people are better informed and better able to make informed choices about policies that affect their lives. 

"Because of your diligence and aggressive reporting, as we speak today policy makers in Washington DC are being forced to confront the realities of the impact of the Affordable Care Act. The truth about the rollout of the Affordable Care Act is being told coast to coast. But the implications of this policy are also being felt here in the Hoosier state…. The truth is, Obamacare is costing Indiana jobs….

"The longer I work in government the more I understand the wisdom of our founders, especially as it pertains to First Amendment freedom of the press… 

One of my favorite quotes on this topic is what Thomas Jefferson had to say: 'Our liberty cannot be guarded without freedom of the press, nor that limited without danger of losing it.'

"I want to encourage you to take this time among your peers and colleagues to sharpen your skills, to listen to the coaches who are in your presence, and to do a more effective job as a free and independent press.

"I can assure you that although those of us in public office are often associated mostly with public service, I consider all of what you do in this room and all of what happens in the Fourth Estate to be at the very heart of public service in a free society."

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