Freedom of the Press

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This title provides a look at the history of the freedom of the press in the United States and the constitutional basis for this basic freedom. The book is divided into three major chapters: the first includes excerpts from works that provide a historical framework for the notion of a free press, the second contains significant Supreme Court rulings concerning freedom of the press, and the third spotlights current issues in regards to the freedom of the press. Many of the historical works in the first chapter are primary documents from the colonial period—and shortly thereafter—discussing the right of the press to be free from the control of government and the issue of what constitutes libel. Some of the important Supreme Court rulings in the second chapter include the Supreme Court's 1957 ruling that defined the scope of the freedom of the press and that obscenity is not a protected form of expression under the First Amendment. While the first two chapters mainly consist of primary-source documents, the last chapter contains secondary sources that argue the virtue of a free press, such as attorney Daniel Scardino's article arguing that the press should have the right to keep sources confidential. This book, part of the "Bill of Rights" series in which each book details a freedom spelled out in the Bill of Rights, should prove to be a valuable resource for high school students in History and Government. 2005, Greenhaven Press, Ages 14 to 18.
—Mark Love
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737720471
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Series: Bill of Rights Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 140
  • Age range: 16 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 9
Introduction 12
Chapter 1 The Early History of Freedom of the Press
1 Freedom of the Press in Eighteenth-Century England 17
2 An Early Defense of Press Freedom in Colonial America 21
3 Defining Libel and Its Defenses 31
4 Truth Becomes a Defense for Libel 34
Chapter 2 The Supreme Court and the Press in the Twentieth Century
1 State Governments Cannot Exercise Prior Restraint 44
2 Freedom of the Press Does Not Extend to Obscenity 54
3 The Supreme Court Sets a New Standard for Libel 61
4 Balancing Freedom of the Press and the Rights of the Accused 73
5 The Public and Press Have a Right to Attend Criminal Trials 86
6 The Pentagon Papers: The Free Press vs. Government Secrecy 90
Chapter 3 Current Issues
1 The Press Does Not Have the Right to Travel with Combat Troops 101
2 The Patriot Act Threatens Freedom of the Press 106
3 Reporters Must Have the Right to Keep Sources Confidential 115
The Origins of the American Bill of Rights 124
Supreme Court Cases Involving Freedom of the Press 127
For Further Research 132
Index 135
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