Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Putting Jefferson's beliefs about newspapers to the test

Gene Policinski writes:

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

When Thomas Jefferson made this observation in 1787, he made two assumptions.

One, that there would be newspapers. And two, that those papers would contain both a critical mass of information that citizens of a democracy would use in governing themselves, and serve as a check and balance on the power and reach of government itself.

More than two centuries later, both of Jefferson’s assumptions are being put to the test.

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