In the First Amendment to the US Constitution, tucked between the freedom of speech and right of assembly, is a protection of the freedom of the press. But why did the Framers feel the need to include it? The answer lies in the early history of the newspaper, when broadsheet publications were small-time startup operations that were sometimes suppressed by the British government. In this week's episode, Nathan looks at the early history of print media in the United States, the role of libel and censorship, and the trial of a German immigrant printer that changed it all.
Jeffery A. Smith, Printers and Press Freedom: The Ideology of Early American Journalism. Oxford University Press, (1990).
William David Sloan and Julie Hedgepeth Williams, The Early American Press, 1690-1783. Greenwood Press, (1994).
Kevin Williams, Read All About It!: A History of the British Newspaper. Routledge, (2009).
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin Macleod (www.incompetech.com)