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© 2019 by Center for the Study of Liberty

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Website design by Keri Anderson and Spencer Ozbun

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Freedom, Media, and the Press

We've created this collection of resources to help you continue the conversation about politics, journalism, social media, and the search for truth in the age of "fake news."


Use these resources as a starting point for exploring big questions such as:


  • How do we address the spread of disinformation?

  • Can we minimize the influence of hate speech online without sacrificing freedom of speech?

  • What role should the government, private companies, journalists, and citizens play in regulating information? 

More from our Ideas at Work Guest

In September 2019, we hosted Reason Magazine's editor-in-chief Katherine Mangu-Ward for a discussion about political journalism and media today. You can hear more from Katherine on these topics in the interviews below.

Resources Mentioned in the Live Conversation with Katherine Mangu-Ward:

During the live discussion with Katherine Mangu-Ward, the group referenced this Reason piece on whether concerns about "fake news" are overblown, Pew data on political polarization, the history of negative political rhetoric (see Reason's Adams versus Jefferson campaign attacks video), and the presence of politics on non-political forums (such as this popular knitting site's ban of positive Trump content).


What Do Americans Think About Media Today?

These studies from the Pew Research Center and Gallup offer a glimpse into how Americans are reacting to technological changes, proposals to regulate the Internet, and more.

The Free Exchange of Ideas

For a deeper dive into legal issues facing the press today, the Knowledge@Wharton podcast recently hosted David McCraw, deputy general counsel for The New York Times, for a discussion about "Fighting for Truth: Defending the First Amendment on the Front Line."

For a brief survey of free speech concerns around the globe, see The Economist's "The global gag on free speech is tightening."

Reason Magazine offers on-going coverage of free speech issues around the country. On the magazine's podcast, the editors recently discussed what past censorship fights mean for free expression today and whether Facebook's attempts to ban "dangerous" speech are good or bad.


The Debate Over Social Media

According to AllSides.com, social media wasn't designed to be a reliable provider of unbiased, fact-based news. How can we be responsible media consumers?

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, recently made the case in the Washington Post that new social media regulations can help protect society while preserving consumer freedom. Others have argued that centralized censorship via cross-platform regulations could pose serious threats to free expression.

Are social media companies a threat to American democracy? Or is the pace of change so fast that threats posed by any one platform or group of platforms are actually minimal? Could competition be the solution? See the videos below for some food for thought.