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Freedom of the Press - The Press

time referred constitution online

At the time the Constitution was written, the term "press" referred to the printing of newspapers, books, and leaflets. However, with the advance of technology through time a much broader application has evolved involving the broadcast media, such as radio and television, and online computer information systems. Specific reference to press in the Constitution was an acknowledgment of the critical role the press played in early American society. Though press was mentioned separately from speech in the First Amendment, the two terms became essentially coequal. Initially, the press referred to the institutional press, which some considered to deserve greater freedoms from government regulation than other forms of publication. However, recognition grew that every citizen had a right to publish what sentiments they pleased before the public. Thus, press became steadily broadened until the 1990s when the concept of "publishing" itself became challenged by new online technologies.

Freedom of the Press - The Origins Of Free Press Concerns [next]

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