Our most important amendment , The First Amendment allows we the people to voice our opinions, obtain and publish information and opinions without the fear of government retribution. Infringing on freedom of the press is included in America’s greatest amendment. Although freedom of the press allows an endless amount of information abroad, It also allows for the use of propaganda. Freedom of the Press doesn’t protect slander.
When Freedom of the Press was added, it was to ensure that the government wouldn’t censor the people’s opinions in newspapers and to expose schemes and information that some people might want hidden. Framers also wanted to sure Americans could continue to make informed decisions on how their nation is run. Without freedom of the press, the government could have also limited who could be a journalist , as well as be the only organization allowed to make newspapers. The only information that cannot be obtained through the media is information that is obscene or classified because it could compromise the very future of America. Information that cannot be leaked are things like nuclear secrets.
Most nations protects its best national interest by making sure classified information is not spread to those that could take advantage. Most of us use our freedom of the press right and we don’t even know. Everytime you go on the internet to look something up. If the internet was made before the first amendment it would probably be censored and regulated by the government more harshly than it already is. The government doesn’t care about opinions posted but it mostly removes copyrighted materials and illegal activities. Propaganda ensures the people only get the information the government wants them to have.
The government often uses propaganda in harsh times, like times of war to get the people to help support the war effort. Freedom of the press can be abused ensure that everybody thinks in the way the government wants, all forms of information were controlled. Otherwise, the government leaders could be voted against and administration. Before the internet, it was easier for the government to use propaganda but with the internet they would have to go through a lot more censoring. Although freedom of the press doesn’t protect slander, that doesn’t mean false information cannot get printed in the newspaper.
Peoples reputation could be damaged and once false information is printed in a newspaper, it can’t be taken out of the people’s minds. Journalists can just tell half of a story and no one would be able to go against him or speak out In the court case People v. Croswell that happened in 1804, Harry Croswell was convicted for printing a story critiquing President Thomas Jefferson in his newspaper. His defense was that what he printed was the truth. You can’t be retributed for acknowledging the truth. If Croswell made false accusations against the president, he would have been sentenced for slander, it is not ok to lie on a persons reputation.
Freedom of the press expanded more than framers could have ever imagined, its literal meaning ended up adapting to new forms of media as needed. The Framers never expected that it could end up protecting rights on the internet. Because of the Lovell v. City of Griffin case in 1938 the freedom of the press right has been extended to media including newspapers, books, plays, movies, and video games. On May 16th of 2013 the Senate Judiciary proposed a new bill in the Senate, S. 987, euphemistically titled, ” Free Flow of Information Act of 2013.” The bill was an attempt to change who can be considered a journalist by not allowing citizen journalists to voice their opinions in the press. journalists would have had to be hired by the government which would have lowered current protection in the first Amendment.
I appreciate the Freedom of the press and i am glad that it has Freedom of the Press, along with the other Freedoms that it protects. Freedom of the press isnt perfect, as seen in World War II when both sides used propaganda to get their point across, America used posters to influence people to buy war bonds, and get men to want to join the army, while Germany engaged in propaganda Hitler took over the press, he spread lies blaming Jews for all of Germany’s problems. Even Though freedom of the press isnt perfect, i still appreciate one of our greatest freedoms, without it we would be living a censored life.