Why The Press Must Be Free

“The last right we shall mention regards the freedom of the press. The importance of this consists, besides the advancement of truth, science, morality, and arts in general, in its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of Government, its ready communication of thoughts between subjects, and its consequential promotion of union among them, whereby oppressive officers are shamed or intimidated into more honorable and just modes of conducting affairs.” ― Appeal to the Inhabitants of Quebec, First Continental Congress, 1774

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” — First Amendment, Constitution of the United States of America 

“The First Amendment … rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public … Freedom to publish is guaranteed by the Constitution.” —  Justice Hugo Black, Associated Press v. United States, 1945

“There should be relentless exposure of and attack upon every evil man whether politician or businessman, every evil practice, whether in politics, in business, or in social life. I hail as a benefactor every writer or speaker, every man who, on the platform, or in book, magazine, or newspaper, with merciless severity makes such attack, provided always that he in his turn remembers that the attack is of use only if it is absolutely truthful.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.” ― George Orwell