Why it’s Important to Have News Media That Is Independent of the Government

January 25, 2012
With the recent PIPA (Protect IP Act) and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) debates, this couldn’t have been a better time to write about the separation in the news media and the government.

Liberty is what America is known for and the separation and independence of news media from the government shows allows America to have liberty and for Americans to be free.

Independence of the news media from the government is significant for several reasons. Media—television, internet, and newspapers, etc.—is a way for citizens to give their opinions and thoughts. But, with the government’s consent to any of these beliefs and opinions, many wouldn’t have the ability to express themselves.

When a person logs into their Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or e-mail account, the government should not monitor their online actions. When a person tunes into their local talk radio station to listen to a debate on government officials or a recent sports competition, they should have the ability to hear other’s views without any hesitation from the radio presenter. When people go to watch the nightly news, the general public has the right to witness and take notice of what is going on in the country without the government’s interference.

Freedom of speech correlates with this system impeccably. Newspapers, television, radio, internet access and broadcasting in any way are and always have been independent of the government. Why should that stop now?

There is no reason for the government to supervise the public when it comes to voicing themselves through the media. No one should feel intimidated by the government just because they have an attitude over something. Even more so, people should not be stopped from expressing themselves.

Recently, Wikipedia was blacked out for a day, Google’s logo was a black box, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr users were protesting, and nearly half of the most visited websites were blacked out for a day due to our government. Assuming that news media is people’s source for virtually everything in today’s society, that is not right. With news media being censored by government, freedom is lost.

People use media to communicate freely and that is how their rights should be.

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JCMerak This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 9, 2012 at 11:18 pm
Good job for you! Great article. I do have to allow for criticism though: Although it is important to have media separate from gov't, you must realize that in order for media to be affective, they will often branch themselves within the ranks of gov't and therefore will act as puppets for them: so, although they are not really a part of the gov't, they will easily fall into their bed and can and are implicit of bias and gov't support. We may not have state run media, but it does ... (more »)
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