cover of book

A Free and Responsible Press: A General Report on Mass Communication: Newspapers, Radio, Motion Pictures, Magazines, and Books
edited by Robert D. Leigh
University of Chicago Press, 1974
Cloth: 978-0-226-47134-1 | Paper: 978-0-226-47135-8

The question of how much freedom the press should enjoy has been debated throughout American history. In 1942 an impartial commission was formed to study mass communication, evaluate the performance of the media, and make recommendations for possible regulation of the press. This book is the general report of that commission.

The Commission on Freedom of the Press began with the premise that freedom of the press is essential to political liberty; it is unique among the freedoms, for it promotes and protects all the rest. At the same time, the commission feared the concentration of media control into fewer and fewer hands, stating, "It [is] imperative that the great agencies of mass communication show hospitality to ideas which their owners do not share." The commission concluded that any regulation of the media must come from within, not from the government.

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