Freedom of the press ought to belong to all... not just to approved 'journalists'
Last updated: October 18, 2009 - 6:22pm
[Commentary] Can you do journalism and not be a "journalist"? Do people declared "journalists" get special speech and press rights that other American citizens do not enjoy? Can anyone enjoy the right to free speech and free publication, even if that individual is not a full-time professional reporter? These are some of the important legal questions that American politicians and bureaucrats must confront now that the Internet has made possible for people other than employees of major media companies to reach large and widespread audiences. There ought to be no special class of citizen called a "journalist." Anyone who does journalism, even if for just a moment in their lives, ought to enjoy the protections of the First Amendment when they choose to speak or to publish. Otherwise, we are ceding to unelected corporate employers the power to determine who gets First Amendment rights, or not. Freedom of the press belongs to all Americans, and not just to the newspaper industry - despite what the FTC and the New York Times would have you believe.
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