Free press, democracy, news exist symbiotically

[An Arrowhead Commentary] In the fast-paced news world, it especially rings true that freedom of press is one of the most important constitutional freedoms.

Due to the amount of influence the press has on citizens, freedom of the press is important in the modern era because of corporations’ and politicians’ attempts to silence the truth.
Freedom of the press is protected under the United States Constitution’s First Amendment. The Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The press shapes the minds of the citizens and voters. Totalitarian regimes take hold of the media and eliminate the freedom of the press when they are taking control because of how much influence the press has.
Many dictators such as Adolf Hitler took control of the press. According to the United States Holocaust Museum, “the elimination of the German multi-party political system brought about the demise of hundreds of newspapers produced by outlawed political parties.”
The countries with dictatorships, such as North Korea, are ranked very low by the Reporters Without Borders freedom index. North Korea’s ranking is 179 out of 180 countries with the least amount of freedom.
The press is the voice between politicians and the people. Without a free press, we are forced to just trust politicians’ words, which is a dangerous game.
Investigative journalists lose their lives to this day uncovering the truth for the good of the people. In 2022, 66 journalists and media workers were killed trying to bring the people the truth, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
In the digital age, we are flushed with false information from social media and news sites. Many feel it is impossible to find unbiased and authentic journalism.
Both Republicans and Democrats (sometimes not just average citizens, but politicians and political commentators) share news that is either exaggerated or made up entirely.
Social media platforms are putting measures into place to limit the spread of misleading and false news, but it is impossible for them to check it all.
The spread of false information makes the freedom of the press all that more important. While social media websites have the right to limit and warn about potentially incorrect information, news outlets should still be able to cover information without governmental or corporate censorship.
The beauty of the free press is the spread of many different ideas and information. When FOX News and CNN are covering the same story, you are able to look at the story from multiple angles.
FOX and CNN are not the only news outlets to look at. People should read articles written by journalists from opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Breaking out of the echo chamber is difficult, but necessary for democracy.