Free Press Is Vital to Our Democracy

“The Constitution, Bill of Rights, and its specific amendments guide us in the direction of a real democracy; however, we must follow them to accomplish it.”

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of The Prowler.

The ultimate goal of a democracy is to create a government represented “by the people, for the people” where, essentially, everyone’s voice and opinion is heard. 

The free press is vital in allowing the voice of the people to be heard. The press is an outlet for people’s voices to be heard and seen publicly. It is what allows a protest–a group of people’s opinion against something–to make the center of the news. It is what allows a small political movement to be heard. It is what allows people’s analysis and strong opinions to be read by all. Without it, the people’s voices would be silenced.

A free press is also what allows the truth to be known, keeping a true democracy operating. The people have a right to know the truth, and it is the job of the free press to get the truth and share it. It is important to know what is happening around us and how it affects us. The free press is important because it exposes lies and reveals the truth.

 Due to our First Amendment rights, we have a right to free speech. We are allowed to express ourselves and inquire about things. Instead of being afraid to speak out in fear of punishment, we can call out injustices in our society. By doing this, we can make a change. 

President Trump’s impeachment inquiry is an example of how a free press can make a change. Because someone spoke up about Trump’s injustices and the free press reported this and shared it with the world instead of keeping it quiet, we exposed some of the corruption that invades our democracy. 

In other countries, like Cuba, people don’t have this right. A lot of people there don’t like their current government  because it is corrupt and limits the people’s rights; however, they are not allowed to speak out. If they speak out against the government or write about the government in a negative way, they are faced with consequences from the government, like jail. For years, Cubans were also not allowed to get the news so that they couldn’t form their own opinions and rebel. 

Politicians hide the truth to maintain their power; without the press, their lies would never be uncovered, and people will continue to look at the politicians as a well-suited for the position and continue to vote for them. 

With the truth being known, people can develop true opinions on politicians, allowing them to honestly vote for their representative, maintaining a real democracy. Also, by knowing the truth, people can speak out on current events, allowing our government to approach the issues with the opinion of the people as a whole in mind and not just those in power. 

Without the truth being told, we are in danger of losing a democracy to a government similar to China or North Korea or Saudi Arabia, where people in higher power hide news and events or alter it in an attempt to do what looks good for them and their power, which in the process hides the truth from the people and influences their opinions. Without a free press, we would merely be a dictatorship: the complete opposite of what our country and its values set out to create with the birth of this country.

In fact, the First Amendment states we all have the right to free speech, including freedom of the press to report the truth. 

The Constitution, Bill of Rights, and its specific amendments guide us in the direction of a real democracy; however, we must follow them to accomplish it–which recently, with Trump, we have at times failed to do, as he continues to say “fake news” without any evidence to prove that or without looking into the matter. It may be a minor issue now, but if it continues to go in this direction, our values and democracy may be forgotten and our country may be re-created with different values and philosophies.