Freedom of Speech/Press

Article I of the Bill of Rights states, in part:

“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech or the press…”

   All freedoms have limitations.  For example, you cannot yell “fire” in a crowded building when there is no fire.  You cannot slander or libel others.  You should not be able to burn the State or National Flag.

   The media should not be biased when reporting the news but they often are.  They often express their opinions as though they are facts.  They often take comments out of context and intentionally distort or misrepresent the intention of the speaker.

   These acts will be prohibited in this country.  If a “newspaper” wants to spew lies then it should be called a tabloid.  When the media is reporting the news they must stick to the facts.  When they are expressing their opinions they must clearly indicate that they are the opinion of the media.

   Newspapers and magazines will be limited to expressing their opinions on government policies and politicians on the “Opinion Pages” of the newspaper.  When they do so, they will be required to provide equal space for opposing opinions from qualified persons.

   Likewise, the radio and television media will be required to stick to the facts when reporting the news.  If they choose to express their opinions they must be clearly expressed as opinions.  They will also be required to provide equal and equivalent time for opposing opinions from qualified persons.

   Any media who take comments out of context in order to misrepresent the views of people will be subject to a $10,000 fine and will be required to correct the error in an equivalent time space.  Should they take comments from political candidates out of context then they will also be required to provide that candidate the equivalent amount of time or more to correct the record.

   I believe that ownership of the media should be limited to, say, one major newspaper/radio/tv station.  We currently have large domestic and international corporations who  dominate the media and they are using their wealth and power to manipulate the public opinion.  A return to locally owned media will help to remove this bias from the media.