Rosanne Cash calls threats to journalism ‘really alarming’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rosanne Cash’s interest in political and social activism started at a young age, but she also had a role model in her father, Johnny Cash.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter will receive the “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech award Wednesday during the Americana Honors & Awards show in Nashville. Her father received the honor in 2002.

“I campaigned for (George) McGovern when I was too young to vote,” she told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “I learned, too, at my father’s knee. He was tremendously outspoken, but he had the ability to be passionate and righteous and also compassionate at the same time. That’s what I try to do, too.”

Cash’s career started with her 1981 break-out album, “Seven Year Ache,” followed by a string of 11 No. 1 country singles. Today, the singer-songwriter has found a better home for her introspective, poetic music in the Americana genre, which encompasses country, folk, blues, rock and much more.

Cash, a passionate advocate for stopping gun violence, was a longtime member of the board of PAX, an organization that has been folded into the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

She says First Amendment rights are under fire around the world.

“It’s really alarming,” she says. “When the highest echelons of government call to shut down newspapers or strengthen libel laws or investigate journalists, to even attack journalists, that’s a very dangerous time. It’s one of the foundations of the republic.”