Censorship On Tv & Media

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Censorship on TV & Media

Censorship on TV & Media


The increasingly global scale of the mass media has created a new concern for American national security. Networks such as Middle East-based Al-Jazeera have sprung up with the intention of providing the Arab world with an important counterweight to U.S.-dominated news agencies. Not only do such enterprises have the resources to compete internationally, their perspectives are often diametrically opposed to stated U.S. policies and agendas.

Another concern is the ease with which a whistle-blower or disgruntled government employee could publish sensitive information over the Internet. Fears such as these have led to debates in Congress over ways to censor or control the flow of information over the Internet. However, the nature of the technology and the fact that no one entity controls the Internet makes censorship a difficult proposition (Fallows, 1996).

Discussion on Media Censorship and Regulation

Although the states imposed restrictions on freedom of speech and the press under certain conditions, the Republican viewpoint prevailed. During the Civil War, efforts were made on both sides to restrain opposition publications, but overall the interests of national security and rights of the free press coexisted without major conflict in the fledgling nation during the 19th century.

In 1919, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a free speech case for the first time in its history. The Socialist Party had mailed 15,000 leaflets opposing wartime conscription and the secretary of that organization was convicted of obstructing the operation of the armed services. Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who wrote the unanimous opinion upholding the conviction, agreed that there were times when speech could be limited (Fallows, 1996). “The most stringent protection of free speech could not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing panic,” said Holmes. At the same time, ...
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