CITIZEN FREE PRESS & 10+ Best Alternatives 


The press has become an irreplaceable tool for democracy, making it essential for any nation to succeed. Establishing a press is a challenge for any nation, because it threatens the government’s control over the public’s opinion. Governments used to suppress the press and silence any news they didn’t agree with. However, Thomas Jefferson believed that a free press is a national security issue. He also asserted that no government can successfully restrict the press without endangering its people’s freedom. The Founding Fathers of the United States acknowledged the importance of a free press by protecting the First Amendment. The American media is among the freest in the world, ranking 14th in 2017 in terms of press freedom index.

 The press is a fundamental component of any democracy. When Julius Caesar invaded Rome in 49 BC, he found only one newspaper. His troops could have crushed the Roman media, but Caesar left it alone because he recognized its power. He understood that rumors — whether true or false — can change public opinion even more effectively than facts. By allowing only certain people to publish news, governments can subtly manipulate public opinion through censorship. However, when citizens are allowed to freely express their opinions, they can peacefully reform society through elections and referendums.

Thomas Jefferson wanted a nationwide press to support and spread his ideals throughout America. During his presidency, Jefferson suppressed several newspapers for publishing opinions contrary to his. But afterward, he founded the first federal newspaper, which published criticism of his presidency openly. He also wrote the failed Argile Resolve supporting popular sovereignty for statehoods where gold was abundant. By supporting an independent press, Jefferson helped start American media history on the right foot. Although other leaders later threatened and censored their citizens, none ever tried to shut down an entire national newspaper industry again.

While drafting the U .S. Constitution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, George Mason asked Benjamin Franklin how many copies of newspapers each state would receive each day. Franklin responded with “three copies— one to put up with his own injury, another to cast away and forget; and the third to read." Founding Fathers Ezra Stiles Ely and Alexander Hamilton both owned newspapers as well as political careers in Congress. They recognized that all opinions needed to be openly expressed so voters could make informed decisions at the ballot box. In fact, Thomas Paine once described a free press as “the mind of the Nation."

 Starting with Jefferson’s Monticello in 1808 and continuing through today’s nationwide newspapers, Americans have always valued and supported an independent press. This freedom has allowed news outlets to expose corruption and dangerous lies spread by government officials— as shown by Franklin’s quote above— which has strengthened democratic institutions worldwide. 

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