The citizens of America have to know the value and importance of a free press. A free press will guarantee a free society. A government without newspapers would be a cruel, repressive, and unwelcome power, unable to be checked by any countervailing force, pressure, or influence. Many politicians believed that the press was the best means of protecting the governed, the people, from the exercise of arbitrary power by the governor. The importance of the press showed the founders that even though it was a business, it deserved special protection. Therefore, the First Amendment to the Constitution includes the principle of free press.
Today there is an argument that talks about if the First Amendment were presented to the polls today people would vote no because there is a growing disillusionment with what seems to be the unchecked power of the press. But in reality, the press is the watchdog, and is supposed to check the President, and Congress.
There are growing questions about the role of the press in a free society. The press and television have been dominating the political process and playing an increasingly commanding role in our social and cultural lives. Television shapes the environment in which we live.
Even though the press's role and responsibility has changed in the past 200 years or so, its function has remained the same. The press is still the only check outside of government that can check the government. The founders made the press a free and unfettered press so it can keep a watch on the system of checks and balances, and make sure they are working properly.