Freedom of the press
by Ron Coody - posted Thursday, March 7th, 2013 @ 12:00 pm
The Founding Fathers were well acquainted with the power of the free press. Benjamin Franklin, in addition to making extraordinary discoveries about electricity, established himself as an excellent writer, editor and printer at an early age.
His newspaper earned him a good living and served as a platform to urge his fellow Americans to seek a free and just society, even if it meant independence from the British. In an age when the printed word was the only source for news and opinions, the presses of the American colonies churned out thousands of copies of newspapers, pamphlets and booklets.
They brought to light the injustices of the British government, chiefly the policy of taxation with representation. It is probably no exaggeration to say that without the press the American colonies would not have sought and won their independence.
Thomas Jefferson, a strong advocate for a free press, reportedly commented that if anyone ever succeeded in getting a monopoly on the press in the United States, it would pose a severe threat to democracy.
Ron Coody, a West Monroe native, is a Ph.D. candidate in Intercultural Studies at Concordia Seminary. From 1993-1998, he lived and worked in Kazakstan doing environmental work. Since 2002, Mr. Coody and his family have resided in Istanbul, Turkey.