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In the United States, press freedom is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This right of free speech encompasses both print and electronic media and is designed to ensure that media organizations have the ability to gather and distribute knowledge and ideas without government censorship or restrictions.

The idea of an independent press that is free from government control is embraced as a means to keep the public informed of government activities. The press has long been considered a fourth branch of the government alongside the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. In order to maintain the public's interest, media organizations must be able to keep watch over the actions of the government in an unencumbered manner.

Press freedom came to the forefront not long ...

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