Home > #4, Regulation > Blog #4–Marisa Pooley

Blog #4–Marisa Pooley

There is much controversy surrounding ownership and government regulation of the media. Some material can be harmful to US national security, however the government should not be able to exercise prior restraint. When the government does exercise prior restraint, it is a violation of the first amendment.


Media can have negative impacts on national security. Broad coverage of events such as the terrorist attacks of 2001 can cause mass hysteria throughout the public. The amount of coverage that the public is entitled to is debatable. On the one hand, society deserves to get to know the important events surrounding them in the world. But on the other hand, false information or too much information can lead to more problems. For example, Wikileaks may cause a basic distrust or doubt in US institutions. However, it is the press’ job to provide information. It did not cause the problem, it is simply allowing the public to be informed. Even the founders of America believed this. Thomas Jefferson said “Information is the currency if democracy.” He believed that news should be able to freely report, unrestrained by the government.

In countries like China, which is not a democracy, journalism has many restrictions. However, America is supposed to be a democracy that upholds the first amendment.

Thus, the press should be considered a fourth estate. The three branches of the government share the responsibility of checks and balances. Each branch is equally in power to ensure that no branch becomes too powerful. If the press is considered an unofficial fourth branch, it will help to keep the government in check. It is a constant threat to our sometimes corrupt or secretive government—the government should be careful what they do, otherwise it may be leaked to the public. As a fourth estate, the media would act as a watchdog for the government, something that is increasingly necessary.


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  1. tessdoez
    January 25, 2011 at 4:31 am

    This is a clearly stated argument, mostly error free, that includes ideas and information from the reading. Discussion of some examples (provided in the textbook) of how prior restraint has been used in the past could have made your post more complete, but I have given you credit for your blog post on blackboard. Good job.

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