A Free Press for a Free People
A free press helps keep Americans free – when it operates without bias.
By: Jeff Charles | January 13, 2021 | 422 Words
A free press is important to the United States and its citizens. When journalists do their jobs correctly, the people are well informed about current events and what the government is doing.
First Amendment and the Press
The First Amendment to the Constitution protects the ability of the press to carry out its duties. It reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
What Are Journalists Supposed to Do?
This protection is necessary because, in many cases, a journalist’s job is to report on the actions of the government. It means that reporters often find themselves investigating wrongdoing by state officials. Having a prosperous nation means that the citizenry must have the information needed to check government officials who abuse their authority.
There are several different types of journalists. Some report on crime in your city. Others report on economic issues. There are reporters who cover things that the president is doing. Each journalist tends to have a specific type of subject that they cover. But their overall objective is to make sure their audience is as informed as possible with accurate reports.
Journalists vs Activists
Unfortunately, some reporters don’t try to just report on the news of the day. Many journalists use their platforms to influence their audiences instead of informing them. Rather than just reporting the facts as they are revealed, some give political opinion or try to convince their audience to believe a certain story that doesn’t represent objective truth.
Journalists who show bias in their reporting are dangerous to American society because they only present facts that make their favored political party look good. This means that people are not fully informed about important issues that affect their lives. When this happens, it becomes easier for corrupt government officials to get away with illegal or unethical behavior. This trend could easily lead to tyranny and oppressive government.
This is the reason other countries that are governed by dictators don’t have a free press. In order to maintain control and stay in power, these totalitarian governments do not allow reporters to report stories that could make them look bad. When they do their jobs the right way, members of the press protect the American people from being victims of tyrannical behavior from the state.