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Freedom Of The Press

Full Video Transcript

Freedom of the press has a long history in the United States. It was recognized as an important freedom long before the Constitution was ratified and became part of the American Bill of Rights. Freedom of the press is a fundamental right that allows media, including traditional media such as newspapers and modern media such as the Internet, to report free from government interference. The purpose of this freedom is to let authors and publishers express their ideas without censure or fear of government action. In turn, the public is provided with reporting that is not always biased toward government policies. While the press may be free from government censure, it is not free to communicate everything. There’s a strong presumption against the government issuing prior restraints on publication. However, the Supreme Court has allowed the government to prevent publication of information if there is an imminent threat to national security. Members of the press can also still be tried for libel and slander after publication if they knowingly or negligently publish something that is untrue.

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