Importance of Freedom of the Press

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In our current political climate, in which the Press has been attacked as somehow against the people, it is important to remember that a free Press was seen by the founders of the United States of America as a crucial element to keeping the nation free. Other thinkers have argued for the maintenance of the free Press as a necessary aspect of battling tyranny and supporting freedom. The Press is one of the institutions that must be preserved if the nation is to remain a free democracy.

One of the writers whose work most clearly illustrated the abuse of power and the effects of the suppression of the Press was George Orwell.

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“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all,
means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”

                                                                            George Orwell

 

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In an example of the use of the free press itself, Teddy Roosevelt said, in an editorial in The Kansas City Star, 1918:

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

 

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Perhaps the most important words about the Press come from the paramount document for the country: The Constitution of the United States of America, The First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

 

 

 

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44 thoughts on “Importance of Freedom of the Press

  1. So many people are speaking out in their blogs and other social media. The outcry will get louder and louder, the more these attacks continue and escalate. Thanks to you and people like you, important information cannot be suppressed, as it might have been in an earlier age. I feel hopeful it will not get worse. What are your thoughts on that?

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  2. It’s getting more difficult to be quiet about things as important as freedom of the press. Especially on Facebook, authors are told to be quiet about their political views at the risk of alienating and losing readers. But there are times when you have to set that aside and stand up for what you believe in. These are those times.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Yes, Charles! Yes! I’m grappling with the same conflict on my blog. I wrote a post right after the election that was clearly expressing concern and I’ve written other posts implying that now is the time for us to step up and find our voices. But I’m still trying to figure out what my role is as a blogger. I share your concern about how dangerous the situation is. Thank you for speaking out.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Some of our problem is that today — drowning in self-editing technology — we no longer have a clear understanding of what the profession of Journalism entails…specifically the ladder of editors and fact-checking involved….We rely too much on other people to tell us unsubstantiated facts, without understanding why those voices — no matter how authoritative — are NOT subject to the same vetting or professional conduct. There is a reason Journalism is a whole, entire university DEGREE…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. History is repeating itself. Terrifying is only the beginning of it. I can never convince someone of what I see as true. They will soon face the grim reality and wonder how it happened. One day we could just as easily be living in an environment like N. Korea where if you make the ruler unhappy, you are killed. It happens in so many places and I suspect it will happen here too. I really hope not.

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  6. Sounds like the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is not aware of The First Amendment. Or perhaps, maybe he just wishes to ignore it. Either way, nothing surprises me when it comes to this guy. Maybe he should read more. Charles, I think your post would be a nice place for him to start. Mr. President, it’s never too late to get an education.

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