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Freedom of Press This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Breaking news! You can now go to jail for doing your job. That’s what Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada found out.

These two San Francisco Chronicle reporters have been looking into Barry Bonds and attempting to find a correlation between steroids and Bonds, who has gained a tremendous amount of weight during his career. In September, Williams and Wada were sentenced to 18 months in prison for contempt of court after publishing secret grand jury testimony and refusing to give up the source who leaked the information.

This is an issue of concern for all journalists. Is it ever right to give up your source? More importantly, what happened to freedom of the press?

The most important aspect of journalism is the checks and balances it provides. Without journalism, events like Watergate and the Abu Ghraib abuse would not have been exposed. It’s simple: once the integrity of journalism is compromised, so is the voice of the everyday person.

We live in a politically correct society. Freedom of the press has been reduced to freedom as long as you don’t offend anyone. Regarding steroid use, athletes are left laughing as they discard their syringes used to cheat America’s pastime.

Sadly, the power of print is diminishing. Television networks and radio talk shows have added to the public’s lack of confidence. It is all about who can break the juiciest story first. Gone are the days when people could trust what was reported.

This has helped fuel the debate over freedom of the press. Attorneys and judges know that juries have less and less confidence in the media. And, you ask, what is the resulting factor?

Two men will be behind bars, away from their families, because they dared to be real journalists.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Corin_Willow said...
Oct. 26, 2013 at 9:04 pm
I'm sort of fifty fifty about this. One side of me agrees, freedom of the press is a very big part of the formation of our government, like First Amendment big. But still, this was a confidential jury that somone leaked. This means a person can leak other jury rulings before they're let out. This is very dangerous to the people and security of the world. I am really unsure which way to go on this one.
 
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