The Margaret Chase Smith Library has announced the topic of its 22nd annual essay contest.

The appropriate role of the media in American society. The ideal of a free press is so central to democracy that its protection is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Yet, its practice is often contested. This was true during the McCarthy, Vietnam and Watergate eras in Sen. Smith’s time. Now, questions about the ethics and influence of the media has resurfaced through concerns about “fake” news.

Entries are due by March 30, and decisions will be announced on May 4.

Prizes are $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, $250 for third place, and $50 for five honorable mentions.

For more information, visit or call John Taylor at 474-7133.

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