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Word Count: 395
Freedom of Press The basis of our government being the opinion of the people the very first object should be to keep that right and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter -Thomas Jefferson The press is an extremely broad term and includes all systems that make information available to people Newspapers television radio books magazines you name it Its generally known as the press in our country because when the founding fathers wrote freedom of the press into the Bill of Rights the printing press was the most popular form of communication Today we call it the media All of the worlds major religions philosophies and systems of government were spread through writing In fact the spread of civilization religion and the written word occurred together each dependent on the other The written word inspired and the inspiration was passed on to others through the written word All of the great religions were based on books Without writing and the ability to circulate this writing free press these traditions would have influenced very few and would be forgotten today In our own country one book more than any other single cause was responsible for the revolutionary war Common Sense by Tom Paine The mood at that time in the British colonies was to continue negotiations with the mother country A war against king and crown the direct representatives of God on earth was still for many unthinkable Common Sense changed that It sold more than 500000 copies within a few months Thats one copy for every eight people living in the colonies Certainly everyone who could read back then read it It changed peoples attitudes from placation to rebellion almost overnight Through the media we learn about our world our
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