The article “ Why the First Amendment (And Journalism) Might Be in Trouble” written by Ken Dautrich and John Bare published in the Summer 2005 issue of “ Nieman Reports”, published by Harvard University. Dautrich and Bare argue the value of freedom of speech. They assert that the first amendment is loosing its meaning. They argue that Americans are not doing enough to protect the first amendment. The authors assert that the first amendment faces many challenges.
They also state that the idea of people supporting their rights has “ led the Freedom Forums First Amendment Center” to conduct an annual survey on the appreciation and support of freedom of speech. This survey has been conducted since 1997. They begin to state their opinions by giving facts on how they came upon the conclusion that the first amendment is in trouble. Dautrich and Bare state details about a research that they had conducted among high school students and teachers.
The research, which was named “ The Future of the First Amendment”, showed that only 51 percent of students believed that the press should have the right to “ publish freely” without the government’s consent. The authors state that the vast majority of the public believe that the press should have he freedom of expression. Dautrich and Bare assert that half of the adults that have taken this survey believe that burning a flag should not be a form of protest. According to the authors, the outcome of this survey convinced the “ John S. nd James L. Knight Foundation” to conduct a survey on high school students in America. The results of this survey were very similar to the one performed by Dautrich and Bare. With the exception of nearly a quarter of the students that took, this survey had never thought that understanding the first amendment could be a problem. This survey also showed that about “ thirty five percent of students believe the press goes too far Then the authors move on to explain the challenges the first amendment faces.
They begin to mention how in 1789 the Bill of Rights was one of the first acts created by congress. They bill of rights prohibits congress to interfere the freedom of expression Americans enjoy. Dautrich and Bare also add that despite these battles the first amendment will face many challenges throughout generations. The authors also state that the studies conducted by these organizations suggest that the solution to this problem could rely entirely on the education students and leaders receive on these issues.
Dautrich and Bare also assert that this study also found several solutions to improve the meaning of the first amendment. The authors assert that value of our freedom depends entirely on the public’s attention and appreciation. They argue that protecting something so valuable like the rights we have relies on how much we appreciate and support those privileges Finally, the authors conclude that the future of the freedom of speech rests on the current group of students. They assert that the students should “ take a role of appreciation and support for free rights. ”