Remembering JFK: His incredible speech on the responsibility of newspapers to educate and challenge government

Summary:He reminds newspapers that they are they only industry to have special legal protection in the Constitution — and they need to use it.

John F. Kennedy was one of the country’s most literate and best educated presidents. He is also the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize.

Here are some extracts from the incredible speech above:

“The very word “secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings..."

“…there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control."

“…that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment— the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution — not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants"

—but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.”

Topics: Censorship

About

In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley.Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leadi... Full Bio

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