The author of the First Amendment was James Madison, one of the brightest and most politically astute of the Founding Fathers. Madison studied and thought deeply about many of the political issues confronting the young republic. Here are a couple of the things he wrote about the value of the press in a free society:
Whatever facilitates a general intercourse of sentiments, as good roads, domestic commerce, a free press, and particularly a circulation of newspapers through the entire body of the people … is favorable to liberty.
– National Gazette, 1791
It is to the press mankind are indebted for having dispelled the clouds which long encompassed religion, for disclosing her genuine lustre, and disseminating her salutary doctrines.
– Speech in the Virginia Assembly, 1799
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