Freedom of the Press: Rights and Liberties Under the Law

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An authoritative yet accessible analysis of the historical development and contemporary scope of press freedoms in America.

Freedom of the Press: Rights and Liberties under the Law examines the evolution of press freedom in America, a particularly relevant topic given the controversy over the role of the press in the war in Iraq, as well as the growing concentration of ownership of the press, and the impact of the Internet on traditional journalism. An opening analysis of challenges from recent developments like Internet journalist Matt Drudge's Drudge Report illustrates the opportunities and implications of a press operating without the traditional gate-keeping process.

A historical overview of philosophical ideas and English traditions precedes an exploration into the judicial, regulatory, social, political, and economic developments that have shaped press freedoms, addressing such issues as libel, free press versus fair trial, and access to courtrooms. A chapter is devoted to the impact of new communication and transmission technology such as videophones and satellites.

  • Extensive A-Z entries on key individuals such as Anthony Comstock, events including conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and concepts and terms
  • Chronology of key developments in the history of press freedom, including the growing conglomeration of the media

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Origins and Early Developments

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About the author (2004)

Nancy C. Cornwell, PhD, is associate professor of mass communication at Linfield College, McMinnville, OR.

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