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Freedom Of The Press

Freedom Of The Press






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    Freedom Of The Press Freedom Of The Press Presentation Transcript

    • Freedom of the Press:Ideas and ideals
      Race, Gender and The News
      (Part 1 of 2)
      Kim Pearson
    • Without the principle of free speech…
      There would be no conversation about diversity in news reporting. Why?
      An unlikely principle:
      Heterogeneity is the nature of empire
      All modern nations are the result of conquest
      Many would agree with the late Chief Justice Rehnquist, who said in his 1952 defense of school segregation that a minority only has the rights that the majority is willing to grant. So…
    • Why do we have freedom of the press?
      …and what’s that got to do with Milton?
      …and what’s that got to do with Newkirk?
      …and why does any of this matter now – especially if it won’t be on a test?
    • The Cliff Notes’ answers:
      Because of the assumptions about human nature that emerged from the Enlightenment
      Because of the assumptions about human nature that emerged from the Enlightenment
      Because of the assumptions about human nature that emerged from the Enlightenment
      This is why you can’t substitute Cliff Notes for the book!
    • Okay…I guess you want to tell me about the Enlightenment
      Let’s go back – to Europe: 15th -18th centuries
      Major economic and political shifts
      Feudalism mercantilism
      Emergence of Protestant sects
      Lutherans (Germany)
      Church of England (Headed by the King)
      Puritans (which included John Milton)
      Monarchs, clerics, merchants battle for power
      Technological change: big ships and printing presses
    • Before the storm
      The Church controlled knowledge – believed founded by Christ
      Kings ruled by “Divine Right” -- needed Church’s help to govern
      Priests taught people to obey the King
      Most people could not read, so needed priests to read and interpret for them
      So, Church authorities had lots of political power
    • Justifying the faith
      St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274):
      Argued that faith can be strengthened through observation and reason
      Influenced by ancient Greek texts that became available through Muslim scholars, traders, especially Aristotle
      [Aristotle’s influence also influenced elements of Aquinas’ theology, such as views on gender.]
    • Faith+Reason=Heterodoxy?
      Rabelais: questioned Church authority
      Galileo Galilei: In the 1630s, he excommunicated for saying that the earth spins on its axis around the sun. This was considered a contradiction of Scripture.
    • Rumblings among the faithful
      Columbian encounter contradicted Church’s interpretation of Noah’s Ark
      Gutenberg’s invention made Bible available in language other than Latin.
      Luther, others disenchanted with priests’ abuses of power; “95 Theses”
      Calvin, in Switzerland, argues for predestination, against Church iconography
    • Church, state and politics
      Henry VIII breaks away, kills clerics and other dissenters
      Elizabeth I punishes Catholics
      James I treads lines between Puritans, Quakers, Anglicans and Catholics
      Does not prevent English Revolution of 1648, rise and fall of Cromwell
      English bourgeoisie revolts
    • Key conflicts
      Government by Parliament v. King
      Conflicting religious justifications
      Secular arguments emerging
      Effort to integrate other groups into social hierarchy – culturally and politically
    • This is context for Milton’s work
      Milton was an initial supporter of Cromwell
      Aeropagitica (1644) protested licensing of printed matter by the crown.
      Argued that people should be allowed to decide what to read for themselves.
      Assumes that public is as capable of sorting good ideas from bad as the elites are.
      Later writers would build on this to lay foundation for First Amendment.
    • But Milton wasn’t a democrat
      Hostile to members of other Christian groups
      Neither was Cromwell, who repressed the Irish and the Scots
      We will see this as a pattern