Essay by xsunflower1x February 2003

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Throughout the history of the United States of America, the Constitution has been repeatedly tested. The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and the press. The founders of the country originally created the first amendment, in part, to enable colonists to speak out against the British. The press in the eighteenth century was accurate and informative with little competition among journalists. But today in the 21st Century, the circumstances are different and the stakes are higher. As a result of incredibly high competition among journalists today, the information is usually exaggerated and slanderous in order to capture an audience. The media is everywhere you turn. The media can be found in various forms such as newspapers, magazines, television, and radio. In the process of capturing ratings, whom is the media hurting more? Is it people who are accused of a crime, such as O.J. Simpson, or is it the American public's stupidity for believing everything they hear.

The job of the media should be to find the truth and tell it to the people. The reporters' work ought to be like a pane of glass, flawlessly clear and unspotted, through which the reader might view the important events of the day. The media has the power to inform the public, but often the information it receives is distorted. The media has the power, although indirect, to influence people's opinions; it has shaped our view of society and the process by which we choose our leaders, make our rules, and construct our values. The media promotes what it believes is easiest for the public to accept, but in the process it fails to cover the issues appropriately. The media can make us wiser, fuller, and more aware. Unfortunately, the media's tendencies veer more towards clouding the public's...