Monday, January 31, 2005

Whither the First Amendment?

This week's sign of the apocalypse: 32% of high school students think that there is too much freedom of the press, and 36% think that publications should have to receive government approval before publishing an article.

I don't think I could possibly add any further commentary that could say more than those two numbers. Scary.

4 comments:

Ben Casnocha said...

I saw that too and am resolved to stand up at an all-school assembly at my school and say "I hope none of you believes in these numbers." But, what I think this shows, is that young people are losing trust in big media. Press scandals, celebrity-news-BS, etc etc are eroding the trust and thus teens turn to the Daily Show, blogs, etc.

Chris said...

Ben, it's true that people have more reason than ever to distrust big media, but it's not clear that such distrust should translate into a lack of support for freedom of the press. If anything, blogs and the Daily Show would be in trouble if they were required to get government approval prior to posting.

Ben Casnocha said...

True - but I would also argue that "freedom of the press" is ambigious in this survey. Would high school students who mostly know of blogs as online personal journals think of blogs as "press"? I doubt it.

Chris said...

But not understanding blogs is not the same thing as saying that the government should be censoring the mainstream press.