Friday, July 19, 2019

Television and Media Essay - Dangers of Censorship :: Argumentative Persuasive Topics

Dangers of Censorship Imagine yourself as a journalist today who is frozen and wakes up in the United States 100 years from now. The country has changed quite a bit from what you remember. Technology has definitely advanced, language seems to have evolved a bit, and nothing looks the same, except fashion. Due to a recent trend that brought back the 90's you are strangely up on the recent fashion trends. As you roam the streets, you try to gain a bearing on this advanced country so you pick up a newspaper. You notice something rather peculiar about every article - the only source is the United States Government. As you read further, you notice very little information is given at all, and the details that are given are always in favor of the government. Thinking back to 1999, you remember that high school publications were already censored and college censorship was not far behind. Could that trend have moved all the way to professional journalistic organizations? While this is merely a fictitious projection into the future, it portrays the likely outcome of the precedents that are being set today. If nothing is done, trends in high school and college censorship may lead to total press censorship in the United States, thus violating the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This would, in turn, exterminate journalism and leave an assorted field of public relations. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution clearly states that "congress shall pass 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 to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." A journalist, whether he or she is a writer, editor, photographer or artist, believes in this right and has an obligation to use it to inform the public. So, the First Amendment not only protects journalists' rights to free speech, but it also protects the public's right to information. However, the courts have begun to take away these rights. It began with high school publications in 1988. During the case Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, the U.S. Supreme Court decided against students and gave school officials the ability to censor student publications without violating the First Amendment. High school journalists now have the right to only print what the officials deem appropriate.

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