Freedom of the Press What Does it Mean | Teen Ink

Freedom of the Press What Does it Mean

February 15, 2019
By jessiegreenman SILVER, Hemet, California
jessiegreenman SILVER, Hemet, California
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique- Walt Disney


In 1781 the Continental army forced the British to surrender at Yorktown, Virginia winning their independence. With this new found independence America created the first amendment which granted the protection of freedom of religion, speech, press, the right to petition the government, and to form a assembly. During January of 2017 I had the privilege of being able to see the Bill of Rights in Washington DC and as I read those faded words I became over filled with pride. Pride for not only my country but Pride for that document which granted my fundamental rights as a human being. Freedom of the press means the spread of new ideas, it provides different opinions, and also prevents Absolute governments from stepping in.

Freedom of the press allows Journalist different views to freely flow. These different views then in turn cause people to be more accepting and respectful of other people's ideas and opinions. But, most importantly the spread of these different opinions opens up intellectual conversations about issues facing us today. Which can provide more light on important subjects and find better ways to solve them. With so many different news networks online and on TV you get a wide range of views and Interpretations of events this is due to freedom of the press.

Without freedom of the press and without the multiple different networks reporting on current events. Are press would be censored and everything would be the same making it easier to manipulate events and to manipulate people. Once you do this you will allow a dictator or a absolute government to step in. According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia in 1933 Germany had about 4,700 newspapers but by 1944 only 1,100 remind and they were heavily censored by the Nazi party. DaShanne Stokes a sociologist, author, and speaker said “Fascism thrives in obscurity and darkness.” There Is example after example of this whether its North korea or Napoleon without freedom of the press Absolute government and dictatorship step in and take away even more of peoples rights.

With a censored press the government would make sure that would only report on the good things causing people to believe that everything was great. Even though that's not true the truth is that they are slowly taken away people's rights. But if there's no press report on this so it goes unnoticed. Leaving people without basic fundamental rights that they deserve. Are press keeps our government in check. Like in March of 1968 when soldiers killed hundreds of civilians in My lai in south Vietnam. Are government downplayed this event until 1969 when it was uncovered during a interview by Seymour Hersh. Our press keeps are government from getting too much power.

Our founding fathers realize that we needed a free press from the very beginning which is why they included it in the First Amendment I realize this on my trip to Washington DC where I got to see that amazing document that fills me with pride every time I think about it. A free press means knowledge Of what's going on Independence for us to make our own choices and to decide what we believe and finally it means that were not controlled by dictator or an absolute government. But with are current state we are number 45 when it comes to how our free press is according to the 2018 free press index. If our current state continues to go down hill we will become a country like North Korea where in May of 2016 they expelled 3 BBC reports from there country for "insulting the dignity" of North Korea. I dont our amazing country to become like North Korea or 1944s Germany and that's not what are founding fathers wanted. Instead we need to make sure that we are getting are news from multiple different sources and when we here are government trying to take are right to a free press we need to stand up and to make are voices heard.


Work Cited

“The Press in the Third Reich.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“The British Surrender at Yorktown October 19, 1781 .” The First March From Selma.

Dews, Fred, and Thomas Young. “Ten Noteworthy Moments In U.S. Investigative Journalism.” Brookings, The Brookings Institution, 16 Mar. 2017.

“This Is the Reporting That Got BBC Journalists Expelled from North Korea.” Google Search, Google.

“United States : Trump Exacerbates Press Freedom's Steady Decline | Reporters without Borders.” RSF



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