Essay on The First Amendment and its Impact on Media

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The First Amendment and its Impact on Media

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The first amendment to the United State's constitution is one of the most important writings in our short history. The first amendment has defined and shaped our country into what it is today. The amendment has constantly been challenged and ratified through literature, court cases, and our media. In fact, media is driven by the first amendment. Without it, we as citizens wouldn't be able to view or listen to what we want,
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The most famous defamation case, which still sets precedent in today's cases, is New York Times v. Sullivan (1964). New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) is the leading case on the question of defamation liability for media defendants. The case, heard before the Supreme Court, declared that public officials and figures could not recover for an alleged defamation unless they can prove both that the statement was false, and was made with actual malice. This decision prevents the news media from reporting on false or slanderous stories. It protects the country's public icons seeing they are almost always in the spotlight. In addition to defamation hindering media, obscenity and pornography on the net have placed limitations on what some websites may provide in terms of content.

Under Miller v. California (1973) in order for material to be found obscene by a court of law, the material must appeal to the prurient interest, as judged against local community standards. The material must also depict or describe sexual conduct (as defined by applicable state law) in a "patently offensive" or "indecent" way and lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. These standards apply equally in the context of the Internet as they do in ordinary books and magazines. Where material is found to be obscene, the First Amendment does not apply. This decision
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