Protecting the Cradle of Life

They're Not Afraid to Tell it Like it Is

Irreverent. Insightful. Investigative.

These words describe some of the qualities Journalists of Courage being honored by the Ballona community at Celebrate Ballona! The articles -- printed in publications over the last 10 years -- by these authors brought unique perspective to the Ballona Wetlands struggle.

In this video, you hear from the writers themselves, telling the story of what it was like to cover the campaign to save Ballona Wetlands beginning in 1995 when threats to destroy these cherished wetlands became apparent.

To fight this theta, a coalition os six groups, which ultimately grew to more than 120 neighborhood organizations, environmental groups, church and faith-based congregations, wildlife advocacy groups and animal welfare organizations, turned up the volume of efforts to preserve more natural lands i the Ballona Valley than most people thought possible.

The celebration of saving more than 600 acres at Ballona demonstrates that freedom of the press remains ever important. The story of this success, though often shadowed by tremendous
political and well-financed influence, was told, and not always in the way that those powerful interests wanted it told.

But -- in fact, it was told in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin, who, on the shores on another estuary, Chesapeake Bay, wrote about his observations of the Bald Eagle and the Osprey, while also proclaiming his determination that the Bill of Rights includes Freedom of the Press.

Even in the midst of changing modes of communication and societal upheaval, this Freedom of the Press is no less crucial to our continued democracy today.

Thanks be to those early writers of the Constitution, and thanks be also to all who continue to speak up for Freedom of the Press. We can never thane this important right for granted.

--Marcia Hanscom
--Susan Suntree
--Robert "Roy" van de Hoek

-- Ballona Institute