In the Bill of Rights we are shown the first 10 amendments of the United States Constitution. Our first amendment grants us some of the most well known of our rights. Free Speech. Free Religion. But what about the ones that are lesser known? The Freedom of The Press being one of them, is also arguably one of the most important to keeping our nation truly free.
Press freedom has always been a controversial topic in United States politics and around the world where a majority of countries actively do NOT have the right to freely express themselves in written and produced media. It has come to the point that other powerful countries have tried to influence us to adopt more censored ways to control our media. Russia, China, North Korea, and many Middle Eastern countries are included in this.
For example, North Korea is known for having one of the most restricted media outlets in the world. Their media is produced by the government and promotes national love for the country and its leader, Kim Jong-un. While this might seem harmless to citizens it brain washes them to love a country that is actually stricken with famine and poverty.
While it may seem hard for a country like North Korea to threaten our freedom it recently happened two years ago. In 2014, a movie entitled ‘The Interview’ made by Seth Rogan and James Franco was released by Sony Pictures. The movie depicted a fictitious assignation plot to kill the leader of North Korea. In the weeks leading up to it Sony was hacked and threatened by the North Korean government who said they would launch attacks on theater who aired the controversial film.
After the hacking and the threat from the North Korean government the United States stepped in and supported Sony Pictures by telling North Korea that the movie would still be realized as intended. In addition the United States placed further sanctions on North Korea as a result of the incident.
The United States did the right and noble thing by sticking by Sony Pictures during this incident. They supported Sony’s rights to free press and knew that having North Korea threaten the right to free speech would mean they were in control of what content is released.
It is important for our government to back up our most basic freedoms in order to maintain the written freedom granted to us in our Constitution. If our government gives in to other nations wishes that go against what we believe, they have to stand ground. If we were to give in on this, who knows what other rights they might attempt to go after next?
Overall, the right to Freedom of the Press isn’t something people necessarily something people pick out as important as rights to speech and religion. But if anything, it is almost more important to have Freedom of the Press.
This gives us and all other citizens rights and access to truthful stories and media. Without this we could be charged or even imprisoned for speaking the truth and releasing it to the public. Without free press there is no such thing as free speech. And without that, all other rights would crumble along with it.
For more information on the topic here is a brief video produced by Ted Talks: