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Essay about The First Amendment and its Impact on Media

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The First Amendment and its Impact on Media


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The first amendment to the United State's constitution is one of the most important writings in our short history. The first amendment has defined and shaped our country into what it is today. The amendment has constantly been challenged and ratified through literature, court cases, and our media. In fact, media is driven by the first amendment. Without it, we as citizens wouldn't be able to view or listen to what we want, when we wanted. As you can see, the first amendment is not only a free pass to say and do what you want, but in contrast, a great limiter to certain types of speech and behavior. This duality of the amendment is what makes it so special. The duality is especially evident in the field of media. The media is constantly being challenged by the first amendment on the following topics:Defamation suits, obscenity and sex on the net, and free speech rights. It is those issues that are constantly changing and redefining our media today.

Defamation, in general, is false statements regarding an individual that can taint his or her reputation. There are four elements essential to a cause of action for defamation. Their needs to be a false and defamatory statement concerning another and an unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, there must be fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher and damage to the reputation ...


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... liberate the ideas of the few. More often these days radical ideas are being presented through traditional media. These ideas, unlike in the past, are being protected under the first amendment. Now, people have the freedom to express themselves freely over a variety of media forms without worrying about government rule-- for the most part.

Works Cited

Hinckley, David. "D.C.'s Puzzling Decency Commission." Daily News (New York). April 12, 2001. 45
http://www.ssbb.com/basic.html
Miller v. California. 413 U.S. 15 (1973) Argued January 18-19, 1972. Reargued November 7, 1972. Decided June 21, 1973
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. 376 U.S. 254 (1964) Argued January 6, 1964. Decided March 9, 1964.
Reno, Attorney General of the United States, et al. v. American Civil Liberties Union et al. 000 U.S. 96-511 (1997) Argued March 19, 1997. Decided June 26, 1997



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