Not As Free As We Thought Speech

Submitted By Zaxxon0217
Words: 787
Pages: 4

Jonathan Taylor
Professor Marcia Selva
11 July 2015
'Not as Free as we thought' Speech When concerning themselves with First Amendment rights topics more often than not revolve around the tangible conflict. When you hear about protests and court cases the conflict revolves around being prevented from speaking their mind or practicing their religion or any number of other things. Unfortunately the difficulties of our First Amendment rights are not so limited. There are just as many intangible dangers which influence our freedom then the obvious. For the purposes of this essay I will be limiting the discussion to that of the medias influence. Though it is often overlooked, perhaps because of it being a staple of our lives, the effect of media should not be underestimated. The manipulation of the media is broad in its occurrence and unfortunately an abstract concept. Admittedly the medias strength is not in laws which restrict our freedoms, in fact laws were made to prevent the media from having overwhelming control. Though as Adam Theirer pointed out, “On June 2 [2003], the Federal Communications Commission slightly loosened those restrictions, unleashing hysteria from opponents who believe our thoughts are being programmed by a handful of media barons.” Rather its strengths lie in the constant barrage of information. Starting as we wake with the news to billboards on the way to work. Though fictional, consider Guy Montag and his ignorance to the simplicities of life. Guy was made aware that while he saw the billboards on the way to work he was unaware of the dew on the morning grass. It is not immediately apparent to most people why something as inconsequential as communication can have an effect on First Amendment rights, but when someone has an opinion on all of our choices from food to politics to health, the question should become, how free are we when we are told what to think? Because media is a such a broad term, in order to create perspective, we will consider a few for their diversity. As the field carries with it an obligation of truth, journalism will be given high priority. The dangers of marketing as well as entertainment will be discussed. A large portion of media includes journalism. A category who traditionally is based in print, television, and radio news has continued to expand with the internet to RSS feeds and blogs. The expectation of truth is a priority to journalism. Unfortunately the expansion onto the internet has damaged the accountability of the journalist. The majority of Americans believe that media is bias. The negative affects of this distrust become obvious in political journalism. Although his discussion is limited to the political Fiener summaries this idea in his article “Media Bias” when he states “Experts question the future of U.S. democracy if American voters cannot agree on what constitutes truth.” This idea suggests that whether through trust or mistrust our decision has been influenced and therefore our freedom. Marketing by its very nature is designed to make suggestions to