In 1734 however, the first instance of breaking away from British law and emerging towards an American law that propagated a “freedom to print/ publish criticism of the government” occurred when John Peter Zenger published criticism against the colonial governor of New York, William Cosby, in his newspaper The New York Weekly Journal. Zenger was arrested (under the 18th Century British Sedition Law), but was set free once the jury acquitted him based on the argument made by his attorneys that imprisoning him for fairly and truthfully criticizing the government was not the right way to promote justice.
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...s nature of the information. However, the government later dropped the case and the injunction was lifted, allowing the printing of the article as other private sources had already started to disseminate the information.
The Freedom of the Press, as granted by the First Amendment, allows the Press great privileges, only a few of which have been discussed in this paper. Regardless of the open scope of the topic, it is irrefutable that the Press enjoys a vast amount of power and freedom in what it can and cannot do, and what it does or doesn’t have a right to. The mere fact that the cases discussed above are 5 in favor of the press and 3 not in favor, whereas 3 of the 5 cases are defamation cases, reflects on the actual state of how free the press really is in the American society, and how important the First Amendment and its purpose is to the American way of life.
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