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Freedom Of The Press


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Freedom Of The Press

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