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October 10 , 2009

The Institutions of American Democracy: The Press


American democracy is built on its institutions. The Congress, the presidency, and the judiciary, in particular, undergird the rights and responsibilities of every citizen. The free press, for example, protected by the First Amendment, allows for the dissent so necessary in a democracy. How has this institution changed since the nations founding? And what can we, as leaders, policymakers, and citizens, do to keep it vital? The freedom of the press is an essential element of American democracy. With the guidance of editors Geneva Overholser and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, this volume examines the role of the press in a democracy, investigating alternative models used throughout world history to better understand how the American press has evolved into what it is today. The commission also examines ways to allow more voices to be heard and to improve the institution of the American free press. The Press, a collection of essays by the nations leading journalism scholars and professionals, will examine the history, identity, roles, and future of the American press, with an emphasis on topics of concern to both practitioners and consumers of American media.

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