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Censorship in Media Essay

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'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' (United States Constitution 1789). Throughout the history of the United States of America, the Constitution has always been put to the test. The founders of this country created the first amendment to allow colonists to speak out against the British. In the 17th century, the press was accurate and informative with little competition among journalists. But today in the 21st century the circumstances are different and the stakes are higher. Due to the great level of competition among journalists today, the news is often exaggerated in order to capture a larger viewing audience.

Censorship is defined as 'Policy of restricting the public expression of ideas, opinions, conceptions, and impulses, which are believed to have the capacity to undermine the governing authority or the social and moral order which authority considers itself bound to protect? (Abraham 357). Political, religious, obscenity, and censorship affecting academic freedom are all equal in their destructiveness towards free speech. ?There are two different forms that censorship takes; prior, which refers to advance suppression and ?post facto? which is suppression after it has been published? (Calvocoressi 10). Since the beginning of the written word, authorities have used both of these forms of censorship.

The media is everywhere you turn. You can find the media in many different forms such as television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and now on the information superhighway, the Internet. In the process of capturing ratings, who is the media hurting more? Is it the people who are accused of a crime, such as O.J. Simpson, or is it the American public?s own fault for believing everything they hear? In my view, some limitations greatly need to be placed upon the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution in regard to freedom of the press because presently the media is doing more harm than good.

The job of the media is to find the truth and tell it to the people. The media has the power to inform the public, but often the information they receive is distorted. The media has shaped our view of society and the process by which we choose our leaders, make our rules, and make up our values. The media has the power to encourage people t...


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...nated by lies and gossip, then the press will continue to print it.

Works Cited

Abraham, Henry J. ?Censorship.? International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 1968 ed.

Calvocoressi, Peter. Freedom to Publish. Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press, 1980.

Corry, John. ?Fairness Most Foul.? The American Spectator November 1993: 50-51.

Deskowitz, Paul. Emergence of a Free Press. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.

?FCC Tags Stern.? Newsweek 28 December 1992: 65.

Gabler, Neal. ?OJ; the News as a Miniseries.? TV Guide. 30 July 1994: 12-17.

Holden, Stephen. ?The Media Monster Lurking Within.? Newsweek 1 October 1995: 15.

Lewis, Peter. ?About freedom of the Virtual Press.? The New York Times 2 January 1996: B14.

Nachman, Louis. ?About the media Circus.? The New York Times 26 June 1994: 26.

Orr, Lisa. Free Press, Free People, The Best Cause. London: Columbia University Press, 1971.

Shank, Joshua. ?Limbaugh Lies II.? The New Republic 8 August 1994: 9-10.

?Simpson Criticizes Media.? Jet 12 February 1996: 38-40.

Szykowny, Rick. ?Bewildering the Herd.? The Humanist November 1990: 8-9.

Williams, Patricia. ?Hate Radio.? Ms. March 1994: 25-29.


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