AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM BEGAN HERE
Freedom of the Press, as part of the First amendment of the Constitution, states Congress shall make no law abridging the Freedom of the Press. The Press in England at the time was controlled and censored. The colonist were subject to censorship or worse. This amendment was to establish a unfettered watchdog, the free press, to present robust, diverse opinions, arguments; challenging and exposing government actions, laws, corruption. Not bound by fear of imprisonment, censorship, or threat of being closed down.
This fresh air of freedom flowed across our land, allowing the citizens of the United States to make informed decisions, elect government officials with knowledge from various news sources to make intelligent, wise, and good decisions. The framers of the Bill of Rights, felt an informed public, through freedom of the press, could wisely choose the best government officials responsibly. And expel those found wanting of ability, character or morality. This trust in the common citizen to choose his own government is astounding. This is what Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Washington and all the signers bestowed upon each of us. This trust in the press to provide a true smorgasbord of opinions, free from coercion, diverse, unrestrained, independent, investigative discoveries, with always an eye on our government and its usurpation or attempts on our freedoms.
The writers and signers knew governments would at times embrace corruption, as all organizations and institutions governed by men will. This SACRED TRUST bestowed on the Press (media) also is an astounding trust. A profound trust, new to the world at the time.
Both are very sacred, they make America what it is. This freedom and trust is the country American Veterans have fought to protect and endure for over two centuries. It was the vision for America of our forefathers. We were the first experiment in this free citizenry. Great leaders have often through the ages made elegant quotes on the significance of this sacred freedom.
2In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. (Hugo L.Black)
3Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. (Thomas Jefferson)
3 Freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly are among the very fundamentals of democracy and all of them would be nullified should freedom of the press ever be successfully challenged. (Franklin D.Roosevelt)
3 Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. (Benjamin Franklin
3 Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. (Hugo Black)
Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy. (Walter Cronkite)
With only five corporations now owning 90% of the media, a cartel has been created. The article below also concludes that news outlets will rely less on investigative journalism and more on wire services. It appears worse, they use each other as news sources in a merry go round of responsibility and credibility.
12002 articles of The Nation: Of all the cartel’s dangerous consequences for American society and culture, the worst is its corrosive influence on journalism…the new divisions of the media cartel appear to work against the public interest— and for their parent companies…”
It does work against parent companies that are or were independent. After the 1996 Telecom act and subsequent FCC rulings, an independent company may as well hand his keys to one of the Cartel members. The five media giants, are each their own cartel. A cartel among the five? Who knows, however their copying and citing each other, or rewriting yesterday’s story of a competitor is evident and obvious. Especially when the original source becomes known as fake news.
1”As a matter of policy, we recommend that the government stay away from the free marketplace of ideas. Interference there raises important First Amendment issues. However, under the Constitution’s commerce clause, the government certainly has the right to keep the economic marketplace robust and diverse.”
“Robust and diverse” isn’t part of today’s media output. In fact it is more; repeat, reword, repeat.
1Thomas Jefferson argued that democracy could not succeed unless the public was educated and properly informed. Part of the education process was to permit all opinions as long as “reason and truth” were permitted to combat falsehood. If the purpose of journalism is to educate the demos, it must provide a variety of responsible viewpoints.
Were our forefathers, and the great men through history wrong. Are the people not capable of making informed good choices for our nation? Were they wrong that the press would continue to provide diverse, independent, and unfettered news to the citizenry?
NO, THEY WERE RIGHT! HOWEVER, SOMEONE HAS DECIDED THEY WERE WRONG AND HAVE TAKEN OVER 90% OF THE PRESS AND THEY PRINT THEIR AGENDA. THEY HAVE TRAMPLED ON OUR RIGHT TO A FREE PRESS, AND THE RIGHT OF THE PRESS TO REMAIN FREE. WE THE PEOPLE MUST STAND UP AND DEMAND THIS OLIGARCHY OWNING AND DICTATING TO ONCE GREAT NEWSPAPERS, LEADING EDGE CABLE STATIONS, AND INSPIRING NEWS ORATORS OF THE LATE 20TH CENTURY. JOURNALIST, NEWSCASTERS REMEMBER YOUR SACRED TRUST, REMEMBER WHO YOU FOLLOW, DEMAND YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT.
Proudly written and edited by Jim Kirk-Wiggins (c) Aug 2017
1Sarah Crachiolo, Research Assistant and Craig Smith, Director, (2017). [online] Available at: http://firstamendmentstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/1st_media_ch6.pdf [Accessed 20 Aug. 2017].
2 New York Times Co. v. United States. (2017). En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 20 August 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Times
3 TOP 25 FREEDOM OF THE PRESS QUOTES (of 165) | A-Z Quotes. (2017). A-Z Quotes. Retrieved 20 August 2017, from http://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/freedom-of-the-press.html
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