Freedom of the Press: Still Vital or Not?

I think anyone who has studied basic U.S. history should know that our founding fathers advocated freedom of all sorts. These include freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of finance, etcetera. They basically had this idea of a utopia, or perfect world. Unlike other “utopias”, this one was built upon quite limited governmental power. But even the seemingly best things can reveal themselves controversial.

So, what is freedom? “Freedom” is one of those words that’s extremely hard to define because of its massive controversy. Google provided me with three definitions. They are “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint”, “absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government”, and “the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved”. If I were to state my own definition, it would be “the right or ability to do something one wants without prior command or rejection”.

Freedom of the press is the freedom for jounralists, reporters, and other writers to be able to write and publish whatever they want. This may include “fake news”, accurate news, the praising and denouncation of opinions, and everything else. On the whole, I do agree with freedom of the press. The world, nay, universe of writing and literature is literally boundless, and one can have the freedom to write whatever they so choose, A.K.A. anything imaginable. But there are arguments to both sides, just like with absolutely anything.

Yes, freedom of the press is a great way for people to see things from another person’s point of view. And having access to do that really does help most people discover that with every imaginable statement, someone’s going to agree and someone else is going to disagree. In order to ensure the security and positive ethical behavior of the government, one needs to analyze it from all different perspectives. This will also let the government know what certain people think of it. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech go hand-in-hand in this case.

But freedom of the press doesn’t come without its flaws, though, once again, just like with absolutely everything that is not nonexistent. As mentioned in a previous paragraph, if you’ve been following the news at all you will realize that “fake news” is indeed a thing. People (on both sides of the endless debate) are writing articles covering events that didn’t even really happen. Some of these fake events include Hillary Clinton selling weapons to I.S.I.S. and Donald Trump saying that “laziness is a trait in blacks”. Neither of these have really happened, yet most people in the country believe one and not the other, just because of who they support and who they diss.

Also, freedom of the press also allows citizens to share their opinions. This is a good thing, but only if it can be done in an orderly way. What’s happening now is that people will share their opinions, but then that’s when insults, name-calling and useless squabbling take the stage. This is what caused me to be a centrist: politicians on both sides are acting like no less than idiotic, immature toddlers. (Not to mention that both sides are arguing over the most absurd and illogical ideas.)

So, what’s the ultimate answer? What I like to do when I’m trying to think of answers to compare-and-contrast or pros-and-cons questions is make a little chart. The chart would be divided into two parts, and I’d put down the pros on one side and the cons on another. And like a scale, one will most likely outweigh the other. In this case, I feel the pros outweigh the cons. Yes, squabbling is absolutely useless, but I feel that most people who could even be considered as “slightly wise” should be able to eventually see that nonstop squabbling rarely achieves anything.

I often wonder if the United States of America is really becoming what our founders wanted it to become. The states are becoming more and more divided, product of the ever-extending blob of the Democratic-Republican debate, especially in the continual aftermath of the 2016 election. Civil and international affairs, diplomacy, and tranquility seems to be going nothing but down. It’s all becoming to the point where we start to wonder if even the most basic things we all felt like we needed are really useful or beneficial to us anymore in this day in age. We need more people to start thinking, start expressing, and start doing.

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