Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ben Franklin Printers Apology

Ben Franklin writes in his Pensylvania Gazette on June of 1731 his apologies for the business of printing. He explains to the reader the problems with printing various information for various readers.

"That the Opinion of Men are almost as various as their faces; an observation general enough to become a common proverb. So many Men so many minds. That the business on printing has chiefly to so with mens opinions; most things that are printed tending to promote some, or oppose others."

Franklin goes on to explain that the business of printing is subjective to it's printer. He says that we don't get angered with all other professionals who transact with all types of peoples. Yet the printer is rideculed for whatever maybe offensive to some particular person.

The whole idea of print is that it is peoples opinion and belief that, that information is worthy to be in print. Not everthing that is printed will be enjoyed by all but it is the freedom of press that allows all people to publicly state their opinoions.

As far as the N.B. advertisement, Franklin clearly states that he was unaware of the meaning and didn't focus on the content because it was an advertisement. The person paid for the ad to go in the paper and therefore it was the persons words not Franklins.

Side note: Sea hen is a black bird. a guillemot


At 11:18 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

Franklin is trying to defend the interests of printers. He believes that printers should print all sorts of opinions without having to worry about being sued for libel. More opinions means more business and more profits. There is an economic motive here as well as a defense of free speech.


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