Written in Ink
Written in Ink
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On the Free Flow of Information Act

There is no logical reason for creating a special privilege of expression for "journalists".

The First Amendment says, "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."

All of this is about expression, by the way, it's not an amendment about religion and expression, but the opening part is about protecting the expression of religious thought. But onward, "make no law"..."abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" is the most salient bit relative to the Free Flow of Information Act.

As freedom of speech is a right, not a privilege, the First Amendment recognizes this right. The First Amendment does not grant freedom of speech to the people. Being a right, it is part of the inherent condition of being human, it cannot be granted nor taken away.

Logically, "journalists" is a completely contained subset of "the people" and "reporting" is a completely contained subset of "speech", therefore the people's right of free speech completely encompasses and extends beyond any theoretical privilege that could be extended to journalists for their specific expressions of speech.

Viewed in this fashion, it makes the most sense to regard the phrase "of the press" as to be referring to the methods and mechanisms of distributing expressions of speech, not as a different group, separate and distinguishable from the rest of the people.

The only reason to create a privilege for the expression of journalists is to set up a path whereby the right of expression for non-journalists is curtailed and infringed by creating the impression that one must be specially recognized by the state as a journalist to have a privilege of free expression.


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