Free press and true press sometimes can be mutually exclusive.
We were guaranteed a free press, we were not guaranteed a neutral or a true press. We can celebrate the journalistic freedom to publish without interference from the state. We can also celebrate our freedom to share multiple stories through multiple lenses.
But it has always been up to the reader or viewer to make the reliability/credibility decisions and to negotiate the truth.
Click through these tabs to discover the nuances of the 1st Amendment.
Free speech is monumental because it not only allows you to critique the government, but it also protects you from the government. But it's essential to remember that not ALL speech is protected equally under the First Amendment, and just because you have a right to free speech doesn't mean your employer, for instance, can't fire you for something you say (unless your work for the government and then things get a bit more complicated). So in this CrashCourse, they take a look at a couple significant Supreme Court cases that have gotten the US to our current definition of free speech, and they'll also discuss some of the more controversial aspects of free speech - like hate speech.
As a companion to Freedom of Speech, CrashCourse finishes their discussion of the First Amendment with Freedom of the Press. Like an individual's right to free speech, the press has a right, and arguably responsibility, to tell the public what the government is doing. But of course there are some complications in doing so, like if that information will compromise national security or wrongfully discredit an individual. When considering Edward Snowden's NSA disclosures or Julian Assange's Wikileaks, it's just as important as ever to understand the role of the press in informing the public as well as our role as citizens in staying informed.
Whether you're talking about older forms of media like newspapers and radio or newer forms like television and the Internet, all media serves the same purpose - to provide information to the public. So on this episode of CrashCourse they discuss their strengths and weaknesses and examine how both content creators and consumers play a role in the information that is told. It could be argued that because the media only relays information it isn't actually important to the American political system, but when you look more closely at what and how this information affects voters as well as their elected officials, we can more clearly see its importance as a political institution.