The Free and Open Press

Author: Robert W. T. Martin
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814764193
Format: PDF
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The current, heated debates over hate speech and pornography were preceded by the equally contentious debates over the "free and open press" in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Thus far little scholarly attention has been focused on the development of the concept of political press freedom even though it is a form of civil liberty that was pioneered in the United States. But the establishment of press liberty had implications that reached far beyond mere free speech. In this groundbreaking work, Robert Martin demonstrates that the history of the "free and open press" is in many ways the story of the emergence and first real expansions of the early American public sphere and civil society itself. Through a careful analysis of early libel law, the state and federal constitutions, and the Sedition Act crisis Martin shows how the development of constitutionalism and civil liberties were bound up in the discussion of the "free and open press." Finally, this book is a study of early American political thought and democratic theory, as seen through the revealing window provided by press liberty discourse. It speaks to broad audiences concerned with the public square, the history of the book, free press history, contemporary free expression controversies, legal history, and conceptual history.

The Problem of the Media

Author: Robert D. McChesney
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1583673768
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The symptoms of the crisis of the U.S. media are well-known—a decline in hard news, the growth of info-tainment and advertorials, staff cuts and concentration of ownership, increasing conformity of viewpoint and suppression of genuine debate. McChesney's new book, The Problem of the Media, gets to the roots of this crisis, explains it, and points a way forward for the growing media reform movement. Moving consistently from critique to action, the book explores the political economy of the media, illuminating its major flashpoints and controversies by locating them in the political economy of U.S. capitalism. It deals with issues such as the declining quality of journalism, the question of bias, the weakness of the public broadcasting sector, and the limits and possibilities of antitrust legislation in regulating the media. It points out the ways in which the existing media system has become a threat to democracy, and shows how it could be made to serve the interests of the majority. McChesney's Rich Media, Poor Democracy was hailed as a pioneering analysis of the way in which media had come to serve the interests of corporate profit rather than public enlightenment and debate. Bill Moyers commented, "If Thomas Paine were around, he would have written this book." The Problem of the Media is certain to be a landmark in media studies, a vital resource for media activism, and essential reading for concerned scholars and citizens everywhere.

Books on Early American History and Culture 2001 2005 An Annotated Bibliography

Author: Raymond D. Irwin
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1440829225
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This volume offers a complete listing and description of books published on early America between 2001 and 2005. • The book is organized thematically to facilitate research • Extensive author indexes and guides to important works for the time period are provided • The most important books in each subject (e.g., gender, politics) are enumerated based on frequency of citation

Civil Liberties and the State

Author: Christopher P. Latimer
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313379343
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book covers documents and related information pertaining to civil liberties in America, including the debates over arbitrary state action, due process, equal protection, freedom of speech, and privacy issues. * Provides primary source documents such as court cases, federal and state laws, and executive orders * Offers a chronology of significant documents, laws, and court cases from colonial times to present day * Presents illustrations to clarify key concepts * Supplies an annotated selection of websites from advocacy groups and the Republican and Democratic Parties

Freeing the Presses

Author: Timothy E. Cook
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807148466
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Most Americans consider a free press essential to democratic society -- either as an independent watchdog against governmental abuse of power or as a wide-open marketplace of ideas. But few understand that far-reaching public policies have shaped the news citizens receive. In an age when mass communication ranges from independent cable channels to the Internet, it is essential to assess these policies and their effects if we want the media to continue fulfilling their role. Freeing the Presses offers a pathbreaking inquiry into the theory and practice of freedom of the press at a critical time in the growing overlap between modern media and political discussion. Six political communication scholars draw upon history, sociology, political science, legal philosophy, and journalism to investigate whether the freedoms and privileges given to the news media and to reporters actually produce the results we expect. Their discussion covers past, present, and future media performance and engages a wide range of provocative questions.

Government by Dissent

Author: Robert W.T. Martin
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814738249
Format: PDF, ePub
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"The most thorough examination we have of how early Americans wrestled with what types of political dissent should be permitted, even promoted, in the new republic they were forming.Martin shows the modern relevance of their debates in ways that all will find valuable—even those who dissent from his views!"—Rogers M. Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania We generally think of democracy as government by consent; a government of, by, and for the people.We commonly downplay or even denigrate the role of dissent in democratic governments. But in Government by Dissent, Robert W.T. Martin explores the idea that the people most important in a flourishing democracy are those who challenge the status quo. The American political radicals of the 1790s understood, articulated, and defended the crucial necessity of dissent to democracy. Dissent has rarely been the mainstream of democratic politics. But the figures explored here—forgotten farmers as well as revered framers—understood that dissent is always the essential undercurrent of democracy and is often the critical crosscurrent. Only by returning to their political insights can we hope to reinvigorate our own popular politics. Robert W.T. Martin is Professor of Government and Chair of the Government Department at Hamilton College. His works include The Free and Open Press: The Founding of American Democratic Press Liberty, 1640-1800 (2001), and The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton (co-edited with Douglas Ambrose, 2006), both from NYU Press.

Taking Liberties

Author: Susan N. Herman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019978275X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this eye-opening work, the president of the ACLU takes a hard look at the human and social costs of the War on Terror. Over a decade after 9/11, it is far from clear that the government's hastily adopted antiterrorist tactics--such as the Patriot Act--are keeping us safe, but it is increasingly clear that these emergency measures in fact have the potential to ravage our lives--and have already done just that to countless Americans. From the Oregon lawyer falsely suspected of involvement with terrorism in Spain to the former University of Idaho football player arrested on the pretext that he was needed as a "material witness" (though he was never called to testify), this book is filled with unsettling stories of ordinary people caught in the government's dragnet. These are not just isolated mistakes in an otherwise sound program, but demonstrations of what can happen when our constitutional protections against government abuse are abandoned. Whether it's running a chat room, contributing to a charity, or even urging a terrorist group to forego its violent tactics, activities that should be protected by the First Amendment can now lead to prosecution. Blacklists and watchlists keep people grounded at airports and strand American citizens abroad, although these lists are rife with errors--errors that cannot be challenged. National Security Letters allow the FBI to demand records about innocent people from libraries, financial institutions, and internet service providers without ever going to court. Government databanks now brim with information about every aspect of our private lives, while efforts to mount legal challenges to these measures have been stymied. Barack Obama, like George W. Bush, relies on secrecy and exaggerated claims of presidential prerogative to keep the courts and Congress from fully examining whether these laws and policies are constitutional, effective, or even counterproductive. Democracy itself is undermined. This book is a wake-up call for all Americans, who remain largely unaware of the post-9/11 surveillance regime's insidious and continuing growth.

Free Speech and Unfree News

Author: Sam Lebovic
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674969596
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Does America have a free press? Many who say yes appeal to First Amendment protections against censorship. Sam Lebovic shows that free speech, on its own, is not sufficient to produce a free press and helps us understand the crises that beset the press amid media consolidation, a secretive national security state, and the daily newspaper’s decline.