The nation seems to be in a state of perpetual war, and during times of crisis, individual freedoms are always in danger. Professor Dwight Teeter of the University of Tennessee discusses the state and strength of First Amendment freedoms today.
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In this two-and-a-half minute video, Dr. Dwight Teeter explains some of the political maneuvering that occurred to get the an amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech into the hotly-debated Constitution in the late 1780s. The freedoms protected by the amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — were not foremost in the minds of the Founding Fathers. Discussion questions are included with this video.
Many of the things that happened first during the Penny Press era have become the staples of today’s journalism: the dominance of non-partisan news; the emphasis on speed; new areas of reporting, including sports reporting; an expansion of readership to include working classes. The list could go on. Much that is on that list began with James Gordon Bennett.