Monday, March 05, 2007

Chapter 2

Quote: "A free press was one that was open to all points of view (a common carrier), not one that exclusively expressed a viewpoint of its own" (p. 60).

Comment: The concept of the free press as the sentinel who guards democracy has been deeply rooted in American history. The Founders of the United States supported that concept eloquently and without exception. Accordingly, the press was the only commercial enterprise given specific constitutional protection: i.e., the First Amendment. Following the basic intent of the free press principle, courts have rather consistently ruled that if a subject is "newsworthy" it comes under First Amendment protection; the courts have generally said they decline to substitute their judgment on newsworthiness for that of editors. Thus openness to all viewpoints as opposed to a single opinion is necessary from both an ethical and a legal standpoint.


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