Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America

Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America
Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America By Sam Lebovic
2016 | 330 Pages | ISBN: 0674659775 | PDF | 2 MB

Does America have a free press? Many who answer yes appeal to First Amendment protections against government censorship. But in this comprehensive history of press freedom as it has existed in theory, law, and practice, Sam Lebovic shows that, on its own, the right of free speech has been insufficient to produce a free press. Exploring persistent worries about the quality and diversity of news in the modern American press, Lebovic recovers a mid-century vision of unfettered public access to information and a "right to the news." Yet as the meaning of press freedom was contested in various arenas-Supreme Court cases on censorship, efforts to regulate the newspaper industry, state secrecy and freedom of information law, unionization of journalists, rise of the New Journalism-Americans defined freedom of the press as nothing more than the right to publish without censorship. The idea of a right to all the news was forgotten. Free Speech and Unfree News compels us to reexamine what freedom of the press means in a democratic society-and helps us make better sense of the crises that beset the press amid corporate consolidation in media industries, a secretive national security state, and the daily newspaper's decline.

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